The History Of Cereal In America

Read Complete Research Material


The History of Cereal in America

The History of Cereal in America


In 19th-century America, breakfast cereal was a cooked mixture of grain—usually oats—water, and salt. The processed, packaged, ready-to-eat cereal that has become a typical American breakfast food originated with a group of Seventh-Day Adventists seeking healthful additions to their vegetarian diet. During the 1860s, at their sanitarium in Battle Creek, Mich., they produced a new cereal food by grinding up and rebaking already baked sheets of thin dough. Both C. W. Post, a patient at the sanitarium, and W. K. Kellogg of Battle Creek improved and expanded the process and founded what was to become a giant industry.


Today, breakfast cereals are available in dozens of flavors, forms, and textures. They are mixtures of wheat, corn, oats, and rice, with added sugars, colorings and flavorings. These ingredients are cooked together under pressure; dried; ground, flaked, or shredded; then toasted and packaged. To produce puffed cereals, grains are heated in a pressure chamber; when the pressure is released, expanding water vapor puffs each grain to many times its original size. (Bruce 2005)

Famous Cereal Manufacturerers

Kellogg, Ella

Ella Kellogg helped her husband, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, develop products that enabled him and his brother, William Keith Kellogg, to launch a successful cereal company that became Kellogg's Cereals. Dr. Kellogg said of his wife, "Without the help derived from this fertile incubator of ideas, the great food industries of Battle Creek would never have existed."

Ella Kellogg worked long hours, often into the night, with her husband and brother-in-law. In 1894, they came up with a method of rolling out mashed wheat, cooking it, and then flaking the dough. The patients liked this toasted cereal, and most people gave Dr. Kellogg the credit for it, but he said that Ella played the key role. The Kellogg brothers and Ella continued working on new recipes, and they found a way to make the first flaked corn cereal in 1898. The next year, William K. Kellogg became general manager of the Sanitas Nut Food Company, which marketed cereal products to former Battle Creek Sanitarium patients. The Kelloggs sold their cereal by mail order. (Bruce 2005)

While the cereal business was developing, Ella Kellogg continued to experiment with new grain recipes. She founded the School of Home Economics at the Battle Creek College in 1906 and completed more writing, including a treatise entitled "Studies in Character Building." Shortly after Ella Kellogg died in 1920, her husband gave her credit for the advancement in dietetics and the growth of the cereal industry.

Stakman, Elvin C. (Born: 1885 Died: 1979)

Elvin Stakman was one of the world's foremost plant pathologists. His efforts to develop disease-resistant strains of wheat and to eradicate the plant pathogens that prey on cereal grains played an integral role in bringing about the "green revolution" of the mid-20th century that vastly improved agriculture around the world.

During the early 1900s, several epidemics of a fungal disease known as stem rust ravaged the wheat crops ...
Related Ads