Abstract: Presently ready-to-eat cereals are coated with high levels of sugar coating to extend the bowl life. Because of health concerns of added sugar, there is a need to identify alternative coating materials. This study was designed to test the efficacy of debranched corn starches with varying amylose contents as a cereal coating. Hylon VII (70% amylose), common, and waxy corn starches were gelatinized and debranched, and then sprayed onto ready-to-eat breakfast cereal flakes. The surface morphology, milk absorption, texture, and digestibility of coated cereals were determined. A starch film with a thickness of 50 to 130 μm was observed with scanning electron microscopy on the surface of the cereals coated with Hylon VII. All starch-coated cereals had a lower milk absorption value than the uncoated and glucose-coated controls. Among starch coatings, common corn starch and Hylon VII resulted in lower milk absorption than did waxy corn starch. After soaking in milk for 3 min, the peak force and work to peak of the cereals coated with corn starches were higher than those of the glucose control and uncoated reference. The cereals coated with Hylon VII were found to have an increase in dietary fiber content. The results suggest that debranched amylose-containing corn starches could extend the bowl-life of ready-to-eat cereals.
Practical Application: Currently, many cereals are coated with sugar to keep them from becoming soggy in milk. However, added sugar has been linked to obesity, hyperactivity, and dental caries. This has led to the investigation of alternative coating materials. This study employed the film-forming properties of enzyme-treated corn starch to function as a coating material in breakfast cereal flakes. In addition, the enzyme-treated high amylose corn starch also increased the dietary fiber content of the cereal flakes.