With corn flakes becoming popular in the wider community, a previous patient at the sanitarium, C. W. Post, started to make rival products. Kellogg continued to experiment and various ingredients were added and different grains were used. In 1928, he started to manufacture Rice Krispies, another successful breakfast cereal.
There are many generic brands of corn flakes produced by various manufacturers. As well as being used as a breakfast cereal, the crushed flakes can be a substitute for bread crumbs in recipes and can be incorporated into many cooked dishes.
Corn flakes are a packaged cereal product formed from small toasted flakes of maize, usually served cold with milk and sometimes sugar. Since their original production, the plain flakes have been flavoured with salt, sugar and malt, and many successive products with additional ingredients have been manufactured such as sugar frosted flakes and honey & nut corn flakes. Corn flakes are produced in significant quantities at the Trafford Park factory in Manchester, England, which is the largest cereal factory in the world.
The story of corn flakes goes back to the late 19th century, when a team of Seventh-day Adventists began to develop new foods to adhere to the vegetarian diet recommended by the church. Members of the group experimented with a number of different grains, including wheat, oats, rice, barley and maize. In 1894, John Harvey Kellogg, the superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan and an Adventist, used these recipes as part of a strict vegetarian regimen for his patients, which also included no alcohol, tobacco or caffeine. The diet he imposed consisted entirely of bland foods. A follower of Sylvester Graham, the inventor of graham crackers and graham bread, Kellogg believed that spicy or sweet foods would increase passions.
This idea for corn flakes began by accident when Kellogg and his younger brother, Will Keith Kellogg, left some cooked wheat to sit while they attended to some pressing matters at the sanitarium. When they returned, they found that the wheat had gone stale, but being on a strict budget, they decided to continue to process it by forcing it through rollers, hoping to obtain long sheets of the dough. To their surprise, what they found instead were flakes, which they toasted and served to their patients. This event occurred on August 8, 1894, and a patent for "Flaked Cereals and Process of Preparing Same" was filed on May 31, 1895, and issued on April 14, 1896.