Walmart.com has the 6 oz. bag of Arrowhead Mills Puffed Rice Cereal.
Who developed rice puffs?
ARLINGTON, VA – It is difficult to conceive of a period before puffed rice, the ingredient that gives chocolate bars their satisfying crunch and gives morning cereals their fizz. In India, puffed rice has been a popular snack for hundreds of years. However, the notion didn’t reach the United States until the early 20th century, when it practically blossomed.
In the mid-19th century, cereal meals were wildly popular in America. Doctors and nutritionists believed in their healthy and moderating effects and fed patients almost exclusively with these foods. However, early cereals were nothing like the crunchy, sweet confections we consume today. The first breakfast cereal consisted just of whole wheat graham flour cooked into a cake and then broken into pieces; it was not particularly tasty.
Consumers want cereal, but desired something with enhanced flavor and texture. Enter Alexander P. Anderson, a New York Botanical Garden-employed botanist. Anderson, a plant physiology expert, theorized that each starch granule included a molecule of water, and he conducted experiments to demonstrate this.
- Using cornstarch and wheat flour, he enclosed the starch in a glass tube and cooked it in an oven set to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- As the temperature climbed, the pressure also increased.
- By shattering the glass tube, Anderson completed the experiment.
- Colleagues of Anderson heard the shotgun-like blasts and ran.
They discovered a laboratory in disorder, smashed glass everywhere, and a big, flawlessly inflated stick of starch that was as white as snow and ten times its original volume. As Anderson had predicted, the granules heated, the pressure prevented the internal moisture from boiling, and once the pressure was released by shattering the glass, the moisture evaporated instantaneously, inflating the starch into a light, crispy, fluffy texture.
Anderson repeated his experiment with several grains, resulting in the invention of puffed rice as we know it. The botanist-turned-entertainer took his act on the road to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Having polished his technique, he shocked the crowd with eight puffing “cannons” consisting of 20-inch-long bonze tubes that contained rice grains that were superheated and compressed.
When Anderson opened the tubes by whacking them with a metal rod, puffed rice erupted into a two-story cage, where employees would gather it and sell it for a cent. Anderson puffed 20,000 pounds of rice by the end of the fair. Before time, puffed rice became a nationwide sensation.
In 1905, Anderson received a patent for his puffing gun, and Quaker Oats began marketing his invention as Puffed Rice breakfast cereal, branding it “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” Puffed rice was lauded for being simple to digest and having a longer shelf life than conventional rice, but its novelty was its primary appeal.
The bulk of morning cereals, including Captain Crunch, Corn Pops, and, of course, Rice Krispies, are still manufactured using an updated version of Anderson’s method. And although we no longer need to crack open a glass tube or fire it from a cannon, puffed rice permanently altered the appearance of breakfast foods.
When did Anderson’s rice puffs become a breakfast cereal?
Prior to being offered as a cereal, Anderson’s puffed rice was promoted at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair as a confection. In a massive cage, cannon-like cylinders released downpours of puffed rice, dazzling the throng, who purchased packets of the innovative snack.
Are rice puffs a breakfast cereal?
Modern commercial manufacture – Puffed rice is created when starch and moisture react within the grain’s husk when heated. In contrast to maize, rice kernels are inherently dry and must be conditioned with steam. The steam-conditioned rice kernels can be puffed by heating them with oil or in an oven.
Crispy rice produced in this manner is known as “crisped rice.” Rice Krispies morning cereal and the crisped rice used in Lion Bars, Nestlé Crunch, Krackel, and similar chocolate bars are both made from oven-crisped rice. The procedure and end result are same, but with a less dramatic difference than with popcorn.
Another way of puffing rice is “gun puffing,” in which the grain is conditioned with the proper amount of moisture and subjected to around 200 psi of pressure (1,400 kPa). When the pressure is abruptly removed, the kernel’s internal pressure causes it to expand.
This process yields rice with a spongy consistency. Rice can also be puffed by preparing a rice batter, then extruding and rapidly heating little pellets. The moisture in the dough causes the rice to rapidly cook and expand. A cereal such as Cap’n Crunch is continuously extruded, baked, chopped, pressed, puffed, and dried.
Modern commercial puffed rice manufacturing is credited to American inventor Alexander P. Anderson, who discovered puffing while attempting to determine the water content of a single granule of starch and demonstrated the first puffing machine at the 1904 World’s Fair in St.
Louis, Missouri. A banner advertising his eight “guns” that puffed grains for Fair attendees titled them “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” Once Anderson found the puffing concept, technique, and technology, the rivalry to puff ready-to-eat American morning cereal took over the economy of Battle Creek, Michigan, with Kellogg’s and Quaker Oats being two notable and still-active names to survive the early puffing craze.
Rice Krispies is a famous brand of puffed rice eaten with milk as a morning cereal in the United States and Europe. Nestlé Crunch chocolate bars include puffed rice, and puffed rice cakes are available as low-calorie treats.