Nestlé's Patent 6214406 issued 10th April looks at "Method of making an extruded instant granular food product". The method disclosed involves using the standard ingredients along with emulsifier and 'disintegrator' which helps in the quick solubilising of the product in water.

The patent is the US culmination of an International Application based on a 1996 application for a European Patent.

Current competition:
House Food Industrial Co Ltd.
, Cereal Ingredients, Inc.

Abstract:

A process for the production of a free flowing and instantly dispersible and/or soluble granular food product, which comprises preparing a mix of an oil or fats and powdery carbohydrates and/or protein rich materials in an extruder, plasticizing the mix in the extruder and forming the mix into granules by extruding the plasticized mix in strands and cutting the strands.


First of seven Claims:

A process for the production of a free-flowing granular food product consisting essentially of: preparing a mix which contains from 30 to 70 parts of a carbohydrate in powder form, from 15 to 30 parts of a protein in powder form, and from 5 to 40 parts of an oil or fat; adding before or after preparing said mix up to 25 parts water, an emulsifier in an amount of no more than 5 parts, a disintegrant in an amount of no more than 3 parts, and a stabilizer in an amount of no more than 3 parts; and plasticizing the mix by heating for between 2 seconds and 2 minutes at a temperature of between 120° C. and 180° C. and a pressure of between about 200 kPa and 10 MPa; extruding the plasticized mix to form strands; and cutting the strands into granules which are instantly dispersible in warm or boiling water.

By Navroz Havewala, just-food.com correspondent

For more information on patent, click here.