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Puffed cereals

The first step in production of any puffed product is the extrusion of a cornmeal/water mixture (alternative grains can be used). Using a tapered screw, the extruder forces the mixture against the inside of the extrusion chamber, creating a shearing effect when pressure is increased. Steam jackets line the extrusion chamber to assist in cooking the meal mixture. When the mixture reaches the nozzle it is hot, elastic, and viscous. The water is liquid under high pressure but changes to steam as it reaches lower pressure on the other side of the extruder. The cornmeal dough expands and puffs up as it moves through the nozzle where it is cut into size by a rotating knife.

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