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Brian Plattner - Articles and news items

A closer look at extrusion and its benefits for the food industry

Interviews, Issue 3 2013  •  19 June 2013  •  New Food

We talk to Brian Plattner, Process Engineering Manager at Wenger Manufacturing, about extrusion and its benefits for the food industry…

Extrusion of precooked pasta

Issue 2 2012  •  1 May 2012  •  Mian N. Riaz, Head Extrusion Technology Program, Food Protein R&D Center, Texas A&M University and Brian Plattner, Process Engineering Manager, Wenger Manufacturing Co

Pasta is a common source of carbohydrates in our diet today. Production and consumption of pasta products vary depending on the region of the world and culinary traditions within a society. Italy ranks as the highest consumer of pasta in the world at nearly 26 kilograms per capita, which is nearly double its next closest competitor, Venezuela1.

Most pasta products on the market, outside of instant noodles, are made from durum wheat semolina, and are processed via low temp – erature extrusion (less than 50°C)2. After extrusion and drying, these traditional pasta products have very low starch gelatinisation levels (less than 50 per cent) and must be cooked before serving. These products can also be treated to produce precooked pasta. This is accomplished after the conventional extrusion press process by a cooking stage in which the formed pasta is subjected to a steam or water bath followed by drying.

Another way to make a fully cooked pasta product without additional treatment is with extrusion cooking3. Typically, a twin screw extruder is used to wet the dough and cook and extrude it under high pressures and temperatures ranging from 90 to 110°C. This results in pasta products that can be rehydrated in three to eight minutes and they resemble the texture of those products made via a conventional process.


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