How are cornflakes made? (5 steps)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, ‘How are cornflakes made?’. Cornflakes are made mainly of corns and some additional pieces of equipment at an industrial level.

The process of cornflake manufacturing divide into five main procedures:

  1. Preparation of corn grits 
  2. Mixing of the ingredients
  3. Extrusion/cooking
  4. Flaking
  5. Drying and roasting

How are corn flakes made? 

As its name suggests, corn flakes are made of corn grits. Corn kernels are cooked, dried, and toasted. Hence the corn grits are turned into flakes that we like to eat as breakfast.

However, corn products usually are a combination of Corn grits, cornmeal, and corn bran. For convenience, we use corn grits as a general term for the main ingredient in our product.

At the Farm

It takes two months for the corn to grow and harvest. After it has reached 5 feet, the corns are taken to the mill to be cleaned, sifted, and rolled. Then the grits are sent to the cornflake factory, where they turn into the final consumer product.

First, the corn kernels have to be peeled, and the germ and flour are removed. 

Previously the flour, germ, and husk were removed, which held the disadvantage of losing precious nutrients. 

According to the desire of the current consumer market, whole-grain corn flakes are manufactured.

 Hence, the separation part is not carried out anymore to conserve the nutrients.

1.Preparation of Corn Grits

The whole kernel starts with the boiling process. Then a multistage process follows where the boiled kernels are dried, rolled, and roasted. 

The boiling needs to be done; via a conventional method or pressure boiling. 

In the Hydrothermal treatment, the corn is steamed inside the cooker.

The cooker rotates, ensuring that the drying is uniform for all of the kernels. Further process of rolling can be carried out with ease now.

Pre-drying takes place on a perforated floor. The cooked grits drop and mix with help from four moving blades. After mixing, a vertical flow of air helps them to dry out. 

2.Mixing of the Ingredients

The next stage of cornflake manufacturing follows after obtaining corn grits.

The corn grits are weighed into a cooker, then additives such as malt, sugar, and salt are added. 

All the dried ingredients, such as grits, emulsifiers, salt, are mixed.  A process called gelatinization is allowed to occur. 

  After they have cooled and dried, the grits are ready to be cooked.


The corns are either traditionally cooked; otherwise, extrusion technique is employed. Traditional Corn flakes are cooked in rotating steam cooker until it attains its golden brown occur. 

Here the grits are loosely held together, unlike the extrusion process where individual flakes are toasted. Hence it needs to undergo a delumping process. When the grits are separate from each other, they proceed to the cooling and drying process.

An extrusion process helps to create the familiar flaky shape of the corn. 

The product is shifted into a twin-screw extruder, where 

heat and shear forces are applied.

 After the thermomechanical treatment, the homogenous product is pushed out from the die out of the extruder.


The grits are rolled into flakes after being spread over the rollers. A precise roller with hydraulic compacting pressure ensures that the created corn flakes are of consistent quality. 

Now the product is transferred to a flaking device. The flaking device is composed of thermo-regulated and counter-rotating cylinders. Then they are left to dried and additional procedures sometimes follow, such as; sugar glazing.

5.Drying and Roasting

The flakes are now ready to be roasted and cooled.

The flakes are still soft; to dry even further, they need to be heated in the roaster. 

Now, Corn Flakes are toasted in suspended hot air by setting a rotating perforated drum at an appropriate speed. The speed and perforation size of the drum affects the quality of the flakes. The flakes remain suspended by maintaining a uniform airflow. In about 90 seconds, golden and crispy flakes, are obtained by using a rolling drum. 

As the flakes are transported away via a conveyer belt, cold air blows to cool them down. 


Corn flakes are packaged in slotted quantities; into bags, boxes, and cartons. High-density polyethylene liners used for cereal packaging are impermeable to moisture. Any moisture that comes in contact with these breakfast cereals can be detrimental to the product quality. Adhesives used in cereal packaging are water-based emulsions.

Then bags are then transferred to printed cartons which are then ready to be distributed to the consumer market.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, ‘How are cornflakes made?’. Cornflakes are made mainly of corns and some additional pieces of equipment at an industrial level.

We studied all the crucial steps that go into making cornflakes.




Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!