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Top 10 Breakfast Cereals Patents

Nearly every Breakfast Cereal has a patent story. Amaze your kids with these WhizPopping facts …

No. 1: Shredded Wheat Biscuit

Kellogg's patent for an SHREDDED WHEAT BISCUIT:

"A cylindrical cereal biscuit made with a concave top"

Correct. He patented the shape. Reason:

"The arched, concave, sunken or hollow top is suited to contain berries or fruits, and causes the milk or cream poured thereon to penetrate the pores of the biscuit more quickly and thoroughly."

(US1168888)

Breakfast cereal food patent

The Kellogg's patent has since expired, but why do Kellogg's, Nestle's and Post Foods' SHREDDED WHEAT all look the same?

Back in 1915, Kellogg's design registered the shape of Shredded Wheat. For some reason, consumers loved it. And, Nestle and Post Foods had to wait until 1929 for the design registration to expire and copy it. This 100+ year old shape is more popular today than it has ever been.

If Kellogg's had only trademark registered the shape as a 3D trademark in 1929, Kellogg's would have maintained its monopoly of the Shredded Wheat shape in perpetuity! A small Oopsie.

Breakfast cereal food patent

No. 2: Cereal with Milk Powder

Patented READY‐TO‐EAT Cereal and Milk Powder combination ‐ US5827564 patented a package including:

  1. powdered milk; and
  2. cereal pieces.

I nearly forgot the "important bit": the size of each cereal piece should be greater than the particles of powdered milk!

Yes, you need only add water to the packet, and eat.

No idea how this got patented!

(US5827564)

Breakfast cereal food patent

No. 3: Cornflakes

What did KELLOGG's CORNFLAKES patent? Kellogg's has been the #1 selling cereal since the 1890's, thanks to its patent for:

"Soaking, cooking, drying, rolling and baking grain"!

Seriously, Kellogg's patent no. US558393 entitled "Flakes cereals and process of preparing same" claimed "A process of manufacturing an improved alimentary product, which consists, first, in soaking the grain in water for some hours, whereby it is subjected to a preliminary digestion with its contained cerealin, and a temperature which prevents actual fermentation; second, subjecting the previously-soaked grain to heat for a time sufficient to completely cook the starch; third drying the grain; fourth rolling the grain between cold rollers; and fifth, baking the flakes until thoroughly dry and crisp." In English: … the steps of soaking, cooking, drying, rolling and baking grain.

Breakfast cereal food patent

No. 4: Fruit 'n Fibre

The patent method that put fruit in your cereal!

  1. Freeze fruit for up to 8 hours to develop ice crystals that expand the cellular structure of the fruit
  2. Further cool fruit to below ‐18 Celsius
  3. Temper the fruit to a temperature ‐12 to ‐4 Celsius
  4. Separate fruit
  5. Cool fruit to ‐18 Celsius
  6. Freeze dry fruit to reduce moisture content to 2‐3%
  7. Combine fruit with a dry breakfast cereal with a moisture content of 2‐3%
  8. Package fruit‐cereal mix, keeping moisture content below 3%

The dehydrated, expanded fruit takes only 30‐90 seconds to be rehydrated in milk!

(US3395022)

Breakfast cereal food patent

No. 5: Golden Grahams

Patented method of making a corrugated GOLDEN GRAHAMS cereal:

  1. Partially cook a first cereal (not including rice)
  2. Add rice 5‐45% by weight
  3. Cook further until the grains are substantially gelatinised and adhere to each other
  4. Cool
  5. Partially dry
  6. Corrugate in the form of a thin flake with ribs and thinner intermediate connected membranes
  7. Toast

Apparently, the thinner portions of the corrugated cereal disintegrate when wetted with milk, "offering the pleasing and novel eating texture suggestive of shredded wheat".

(US3998978)

Breakfast cereal food patent

No. 6: Loops

Kellogg's patented method of making PUFFED CEREAL LOOPS:

  1. Cook cereal in moisture
  2. Deforming the cooked cereal
  3. Dry the deformed cereal to 5‐14% moisture content
  4. Heat at above 260 Celsius to cause the cereal to puff / expand to several times its initial volume

(US1925267)

Breakfast cereal food patent

No. 7: Puffed Rice Cinnabon

Kellogg's PUFFED RICE cereal patent:

  1. Cook rice in moisture
  2. Partially dry
  3. Reduce the rice to coarse particles
  4. Form into ribbons
  5. Dry until hard and brittle
  6. Puff by heating

(US1946803)

Breakfast cereal food patent

No. 8: Wheat Flakes

Kellogg's patented WHEAT FLAKES:

  1. Treat hulled cereal in water with malt for about thirty minutes to partially convert the starch
  2. Add a flavouring substance (e.g. sugar) to the wort keeping the material at 64‐77 Celsius for three hours until the grain kernels are swelled
  3. Cook
  4. Flake

The inventive feature was swelling the cereal in wort for sufficient time to allow the sugar to penetrate the grain.

(US2174982)

Breakfast cereal food patent

No. 9: Peanut butter Granola

Peanut butter GRANOLA patent (with a surprising twist):

"Peanut butter and bran in an amount that is less than 40% of the total weight, but is sufficient for therapeutical action."

No need to elaborate on the "therapeutical action". And, I used to buy these treats solely because I thought they tasted good! Good thing I'm not much of a sharer.

(US1415893)

Breakfast cereal food patent

No. 10: All Bran

Kellogg's patented process of making ALL BRAN CEREAL:

  1. Pulverise cereal grain
  2. Mix with flavouring material, and water to form a dough
  3. Cook
  4. Dry
  5. Break into small particles
  6. Bake or toast

(US1170162)

Breakfast cereal food patent
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