General Mills files patent for whole grain pancakes, waffles

by Jeff Gelski
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Whole grain waffles and pancakes, General Mills patent
General Mills filed a patent that involves using whole grain flours to create whole grain pancakes and waffles that consumers will find desirable.

MINNEAPOLIS — A patent filed by General Mills, Inc. involves using whole grain flours sourced from wheat, brown rice and millet to create whole grain pancakes and waffles that consumers will find desirable.

“Whole grain wheat flour may be the sole whole grain source in many prepared pancake and waffle products,” Minneapolis-based General Mills said in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0128342 published on May 12. “However, including a large amount of whole grain wheat flour content can result in a decrease in product desirability.”

While whole grain wheat flour makes up a majority of the flour in products in the General Mills patent, whole grain brown rice flour, whole grain millet flour or a combination of the two may add to the whole grain content while increasing the desirability of the products, including such traits as taste, springiness, cohesiveness, chewiness and viscosity.

In one embodiment, a cooked pancake or waffle may include 20 to 38 grams of whole grain wheat flour, 4.5 to 21.5 grams of whole grain brown rice flour, whole grain millet flour or a combination of the two, 3 to 17 grams of sugar, and 2 to 7 grams of fat.

In some embodiments, the whole grain pancakes and waffles may be cooked and then frozen for delivery to commercial establishments such as schools and hospitals or to consumers. The frozen and whole grain pancakes and waffles then may be reheated and served.

Under the patent, the batters achieve a whole grain content of at least 35%. The batters may have improved properties when compared to batters formed with the same amount of whole grain content provided entirely by whole grain wheat flour, according to the patent. The batters also may have properties similar to the properties of batters formed with non-whole grain flours, such as enriched wheat flour.

In some embodiments, a pancake or waffle batter that is more than about 21.5% by weight whole grain brown rice flour may result in a cooked product that becomes grainy. In some embodiments, a pancake or waffle batter that is more than about 21.5% by weight whole grain millet flour may result in a cooked product that is too dry and/or a batter that is too thin. 
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