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Pasta and rice - Articles and news items

Climate change means land use will need to change to keep up with global food demand

Industry news  •  20 September 2016  •  University of Birmingham

A team of researchers led by the University of Birmingham warns that without improvements in technology, global crop yields are likely to fall…

Farmers protest in Cambodia over rice prices

Industry news  •  19 September 2016  •  Roy Manuell, Digital Content Producer

Almost five hundred farmers in Cambodia block a major road with 100 tonnes of rice paddy in the Battambang province…

Extrusion: Pasta the traditional way

Issue 2 2016  •  26 April 2016  •  Pat Higgins, Head of Business Development, the Queally Group

In 1996 we were asked by an existing customer to supply their frozen pasta range to their operations in the UK and EU. We appointed a dedicated team to research pasta manufacturing, raw material and ingredient sourcing, product attributes and – most importantly – the market for pasta products…

Cricket pasta – the edible insect revolution is served

Issue 1 2016  •  22 February 2016  •  Karen Li, Online Marketing Specialist, Bugsolutely

For the first time, the most common food in the world contains… insects. With 20% cricket flour, Cricket Pasta has a number of nutritional benefits, and it is set to start a completely new segment in the pasta business…

Vetta launches High Fibre Pasta range in the UK

Industry news  •  11 September 2015  •  Victoria White

Produced and crafted by Australian company Rinoldi, Vetta’s High Fibre pasta range provides consumers with a high-fibre option…

Pasta Processing: Pasta production

Issue 6 2013  •  2 January 2014  •  Alexis Freier, Research & Development and Technical Services Manager, Dakota Growers Pasta Company

The quality of a pasta product is evaluated by dry appearance and cooked texture. ‘Good Pasta’ is defined as having uniform amber colour with an absence of black, brown or white spots, a smooth surface free of streaks or cracks, and a texture that when cooked is neither chewy nor mushy but ‘al dente’. Three key factors determine success or failure in pasta production: raw materials, processing technology and the presence of skilled employees throughout the manufacturing process…

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.

DRIED PASTA: A global food

Issue 6 2010  •  15 December 2010  •  Maria Ambrogina Pagani, Professor of Cereal Technology, University of Milan

Pasta, the Italian food par excellence, is one of the most interesting products obtained from wheat. Dried pasta has a long shelf-life before being cooked, thanks to its low water content and highly compact texture. Its macromolecules have exceptional hydrating capacities which enable it to increase its weight two-fold and acquire a palatable structure when cooked in boiling water while maintaining a high structural compactness. This property allows starch to be slowly digested, thus ensuring the product a low Glycemix Index despite its high carbohydrate content1. Pasta can then be combined in many different kinds of sauces to suit every taste and to remedy the deficiency of wheat regarding some essential amino-acids.

Pasta processing and final product characteristics

Issue 2 2009  •  1 June 2009  •  Antonio Nespoli, Semolina Pasta Industrialisation Responsible, Barilla G e R. Fratelli SpA

Pasta is apparently a very simple food, with one ingredient: semolina of durum wheat and one reactant: water. In its native state, the ingredient has two main constituents, which are proteins and starch. The reactant, together with mechanical and thermal energy, is necessary to modify their structure to obtain the final configuration. In Figure 1, a dried spaghetti section, the starch granules and the protein net formed are clearly recognisable.

Challenges to processing non-traditional pastas

Issue 1 2009  •  20 February 2009  •  Frank A. Manthey, Associate Professor, Durum Wheat Quality/Pasta Processing Laboratory, North Dakota State University and Gurleen K. Sandhu, Graduate Research Assistant, Durum Wheat Quality/Pasta Processing Laboratory, North Dakota State University

Traditional pasta is made from semolina and water. Its simplicity in composition has made it an inexpensive meal that is familiar to many people worldwide. The milling of durum wheat into semolina removes the bran and germ which are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. To offset the loss of these healthful components, many countries require pasta to be fortified with thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid and ferrous sulphate.

Pasta processing and nutrition

Issue 4 2008, Past issues  •  18 December 2008  •  Carlo Cannella, Professor, Department of Medical Physiopathology – Food Science & Nutrition Unit, ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome

Pasta has ancient roots that go back approximately 7,000 years to when humankind abandoned his nomadic lifestyle, started to cultivate the land and learned how to process grain. For many years, Marco Polo was credited with introducing pasta to Italy after his voyages in China, but several written documents deny this. In one of them, dated 1154, the Arab geographer Al-Idrin mentions ‘food made of strings’ called ‘triyah’ which was produced in Palermo. It is therefore thought that pasta, intended as ‘maccheroni’, actually originated in Sicily, around Trabia, near Palermo.

Pasta: strength and structure

Issue 3 2005, Past issues  •  29 July 2005  •  Martin G. Scanlon, Nancy M. Edwards and Jim E. Dexter

Every year, in various educational institutions across the globe, students compete to design and build bridges made from spaghetti strands. In most competitions, the winner is that student team whose bridge can sustain the highest load (Johns Hopkins, 2005). Clearly some elaborate design work goes into the creation of these food engineering masterpieces (Figure 1).

However, bridge building is not the only use for pasta! Many nutritious and appetising dishes can be made from various pasta structures, such as spaghetti, lasagna, gnocchetti, manicotti, capellini, fettuccine, etc. For all pasta products, the preferred primary ingredient is semolina – coarse flour made from durum wheat. Pasta can be made from common wheat (bread-making and confectionery wheat), but is perceived as inferior to durum wheat pasta and, in some countries, legislation prohibits the addition of common wheat ingredients beyond a specified small percentage in pasta. Durum wheat was originally cultivated in the Mediterranean where, today, semolina is also used for the manufacture of specialty breads and products such as couscous, bulgar and frekeh. In recent years the proportion of durum wheat used for bread-making has been increasing.

 

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