General Mills packs whole grain into pancakes and waffles

By Kacey CULLINEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pancakes and waffles with 35-47% whole grain can be made using a blend of flours, says General Mills
Pancakes and waffles with 35-47% whole grain can be made using a blend of flours, says General Mills

Related tags: Whole grain, Flour, General mills

General Mills has filed a patent for whole grain pancake and waffle batters that use a blend of wheat, brown rice and millet flours.

In its international patent filing, General Mills said there was a need to develop pancakes and waffles with higher levels of whole grain without compromising taste.

“Including a large amount of whole grain wheat flour content can result in a decrease in product desirability. For example, an increased whole grain wheat flour content can decrease the desirability of the batter as well as the resulting cooked pancake or waffle product,”​ it wrote.

“Accordingly, there is an ongoing desire to provide batters and cooked products, such as frozen pancakes and waffles that provide increased levels of whole grains while maintaining the desired taste, texture and other organoleptic qualities of the product.”

General Mills said its formulations, which used wheat, brown rice and millet or a combination thereof, enabled cooked pancakes with a whole grain (by weight) content of 35-47% without impacting these product properties.

Whole grain blend

It said that by using a blend of whole grain flours, it was able to improve the properties of pancakes or waffles compared to those made using non-whole grain flours like enriched wheat flour or just one whole grain wheat flour.

“It is believed that the starch of whole grain brown rice flour does not hydrate as quickly as that of whole grain wheat flour, thus, producing a batter and cooked product with improved properties. It is believed that the hydration of whole grain millet flour is also different than that of whole grain wheat flour and may be similar to that of whole grain brown rice flour,”​ it explained.

Tests showed, for example, that pancakes made using whole grain wheat and rice flour were softer than those containing just whole wheat flour. They were also less, springy, less cohesive and less chewy.

Careful formulation

The whole grain flour content in the batter formulation could be adjusted, General Mills said, although ideally should be between 20.4% and 37.3%. Any higher or lower and the batter consistency would be negatively impacted, it said.

“A pancake or waffle batter that includes less than about 20% by weight whole grain wheat flour may result in an excessively thin or runny batter  (…) A  pancake or waffle batter that includes more than about 38% by weight whole grain wheat flour may result in an excessively thick batter as whole grain wheat flour tends to absorb water.”

Water levels in the batter were also vital to consistency, it said, and ideally should represent 42-46% of the overall batter formulation. Any lower and the batter would be too viscous to properly handle, General Mills explained, and any higher the batter would be too thin and spread too far when cooking.

The whole grain pancake and waffle batters could be used to manufacture previously prepared, frozen products that consumers could re-heat.

Source: WIPO Publication NO. WO/2014200471
Published: December 18, 2014. Filed: June 12, 2013
“Whole grain pancakes and waffles”
Authors: General Mills – C. Homco-Ryan and K. Bahe

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