What Makes a Great Bran Cereal?

Some health experts say that fiber-rich foods, like bran cereal, can aid digestion and prevent heart disease. High quality bran cereal also offers a wonderfully nutty and toasty element. Serve it with low-fat milk and sliced banana for a filling and healthy breakfast, or take a container of dry bran cereal to work for a satisfying afternoon snack. Texture in milk is the most important determinant of bran cereal quality. After two minutes in milk, the cereal should remain crunchy and/or crispy, not soggy. Some adhesiveness is expected, but the cereal should eventually dissolve and not leave undissolved bran flakes in the teeth and mouth. The aroma and taste profile should include bran, toasty and some sweet notes – but the cereal should not be overly sweet. Nutty and other grain notes, including wheat, oat and corn, may also be present.

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Tasting terms

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • adhesiveness

    The degree to which some foods stick to the tongue, teeth or upper palate; not to be confused with "cohesiveness," which is the degree to which food sticks together. Example: Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth; white bread sticking to the teeth.

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • taste profile

    The expected levels of each basic taste in any given food; defines the overall taste balance. Example: The taste profile of baking chocolate is led by bitterness that is balanced by a low amount of sweetness.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.