How Corn Flakes Were Invented?

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These days we are surrounded by so many inventions. They have made our lives easier, faster, fun-filled and more secure (or less secure, if we take the bombs and other horrible weapons into account).
Each inventions has a story to tell. Some of them are sagas of hard work, which took nearly a life-time, and often went un-rewarded. Some inventions were not sought for at all; they ‘just happened’. Stories behind some of these inventions are funny...
It was the first decade of the 19th century. A doctor and his younger brother were busily experimenting with vegetarian cooking in thekitchen attached to their hospital, in the town of Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S.A. With the help of his younger brother Will, Dr John Harvey Kellogg was trying to discover a vegetarian recipe that would satisfy the taste-buds of his patients who were finding it too hard to give up fish and meat dishes. The doctor conducted a health clinic where the patients stayed and took treatment. His treatment had a good deal of nature cure as its part; the patients had to stick to a strict regimen of being in the open air doing the prescribed exercises and taking plenty of rest. As regards food, fish and meat were forbidden; they were allowed only bland vegetarian food. No wonder his patients, most of them accustomed to “good living”, were unhappy with the diet prescribed by the earnest doctor. The Kellogg brothers conducted their research in the evenings after hospital hours. They boiled, mashed, roasted and baked grains and nuts. Several evenings passed without yielding the desired results.
The brothers did not give up. One evening they were boiling yet another batch of grains when they had to leave it and go out on some urgent errand. They left the pot to cool on the stove.
It was two days later that they were able to get back to their experiment. By then, the over-boiled mush had started to dry and go mouldy.
But they did not discard it. Instead they continued their experiment. They passed the dried dough through rollers to flatten it. The result was a pleasant surprise. Each grain formed a separate flake and each flake tasted equally delicious. Thus that evening witnessed the discovery of corn flakes.
The doctor was happy that he had, after all the trouble, arrived at good health food for his hospital. But his brother saw a business opportunity in it as well. He bought the doctor’s share of the invention, took a patent on it, and built up a huge business: the famous ‘Kellogg’s corn flakes’, which are now available in India too. Introduced in India in 1994, it is today the country’s most popular breakfast cereal brand with annual sales over Rs.620 crore! The Kellogg brothers and their Corn flakes truly revolutionized the breakfast habits of the world!


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