Corn Flakes Last Longer in Milk Than Water Say Scientists

Posted on May 10, 2012

Kellogs Corn FlakesScientists from the Department of Chemical and Bioprocesses Engineering at Pontificia University in Chile have conducted research on corn flakes and quinoa flakes to see how they respond to being immersed in milk and water. The researchers say the importance of breakfast cereal flakes in Western diets "deserves an understanding of changes in their mechanical properties and microstructure that occur during soaking in a liquid (that is, milk or water) prior to consumption."

The researchers measured the "maximum rupture force (RF)" of corn flakes and quinoa flakes while immersed in distilled water and 2% milk for 5 seconds and 300 seconds. The soaked flakes were then immediately freeze-dried and their cross section and surface examined by scanning electron microscopy

The researchers say that under similar soaking conditions, quinoa flakes presented higher RF values than corn flakes. The researchers also found that changes in the microstructure of flakes were more pronounced in distilled water than in 2% milk. In other words, the flakes get soggy faster in water than in 2% milk. The researchers believe this is "probably because the fat and other solids in milk become deposited on the flakes' surface hindering liquid infiltration."

The researchers also found that "structural and textural modifications were primarily ascribable to the plasticizing effect of water that softened the carbohydrate/protein matrix, inducing partial collapse of the porous structure and eventually disintegration of the whole piece through deep cracks."

The science proves that your corn flakes and quinoa flakes will hold up better if you put them in milk than in water. Also, milk with higher fat content will enable your corn flakes to last longer if the researchers theory about fat deposits hindering liquid infiltration is correct.

Photo: Kellog's