Why does raisin bran sink?
Updated: Feb 5, 2020
I eat cereal just as much as anyone else, but I don’t usually eat raisin bran. A few years ago, I ate raisin bran for what I think was the first time, but I had probably eaten it before. It was definitely, however, the first time that I distinctly remember eating raisin bran. This is not a review of raisin bran nor is it commentary on the fallibility of human memory.
It’s about how raisin bran sinks. All the cereal I’ve ever eaten up to that point and all the cereal that I’ve eaten since floats but this raisin bran sank. Being the concerned consumer that I am, I wrote a letter to Kellogg’s about the problem. The response only thanked me for bringing the problem to their attention and attached a coupon for five dollars off any Kellogg’s product. Out of spite, I have never used that coupon and swore off Kellogg’s Raisin Bran.
This was more a reaction to their flippant reply than to their raisin bran; at that time, I thought that maybe my box of raisin bran was stale or that batch of raisin bran was defective, but a recent experience disavowed me of that notion.
For the first time in years, I ate raisin bran again — this time a generic store brand of raisin bran. It also sank in the milk! The only logical conclusion was that all raisin bran sinks. But why? What is the cereal industry covering up? There and then, I vowed to uncover the truth behind the decreased buoyancy of raisin bran. If I don’t post again, know that Big Cereal has killed me for exposing their secrets.
As Gilmore Girls plays on Netflix, I open up a new browser tab and type in “why does raisin bran sink?” I find this Yahoo! Answers thread from 2008. The first thing that catches my attention is that the asker’s profile is deleted. A fairly normal thing right? The question is from nearly a decade old, maybe the user got bored of Yahoo! — what a ridiculous idea, though.
A much more likely possibility is that our hero uncovered the truth or learned too much and his account was deleted by the hidden actors behind Big Cereal. Our anonymous Icarus flew too close to the sun that is the Kellogg’s Company and melted the wax holding his wings of this raisin bran crusade together, causing him to plummet into the sea of deleted Yahoo! Answers accounts. This reminds me that I must be vigilant in this quest and not leave any foolish clues to my identity.
I turn my attention to the answers. Schmiddy, who has what Yahoo! deems as the ‘best answer’, is completely wrong. Raisin bran doesn’t sink because of “Greater mass.” Nothing sinks because of greater mass; if Schmiddy had been like bolts92 and taken Chemistry they’d have known that things sink because of density not mass. However fun stalking Schmiddy and bolts92 through their illustrious Yahoo! Answers career for the past decade may have been, it was time to get back to my quest and that hour long distraction had not gotten me any closer to uncovering this well-kept secret of Big Cereal.
Bran is the hard, outer layer of whole cereal grains like oats, wheat, rice, rye and others. Danilo Alfaro, thespruce.com
Maybe because it’s starchy and hard it’s more dense than normal cereal. That brings up the question. What is cereal normally made of anyway? Another quick Google search (a recurring theme here) tells me that cereal is most typically made of either corn, rice, wheat, or oats (probably the inner part, seeing as how bran is the outer part). I’m not a plant scientist so I don’t know how the outer and inner parts differ but I can use the internet.
It turns out that the outer layer of the cereal – the bran – primarily consists of fiber unlike the proteins and carbohydrates of the inner part, or the endosperm. Usually the bran is removed before processing the cereal, but in bran cereal it remains. Though that quick lesson on botany may have been captivating, we must return to the question at hand. Is bran more dense than endosperm?
Researching this exact question (once again using Google, with the query: ‘how much does bran weigh’) I only learned that the average human brain weighs around 3 pounds.
Clearly Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google are in cahoots with W.K. Kellogg and the rest of Big Cereal in keeping this secret hidden. And, unfortunately for us, it seems as if they have succeeded. I see no safe way forward without suffering the same fate that befell our anonymous Yahoo! Answers asker.