Pasta Technology - Articles and news items

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…

Pasta extrusion: Conversion of semolina into pasta

Issue 5 2014  •  27 October 2014  •  Frank A. Manthey and Elena de la Peña, North Dakota State University

Formation of gluten-based dough requires the presence of gluten proteins, gliadin and glutenin, moisture, and energy. Gliadin and glutenin proteins are storage proteins that accumulate in wheat endosperm cells during grain filling. Gliadins are a heterogenous group of single chain proteins that are responsible for dough cohesiveness. Gliadin proteins can be separated using electrophoresis into four groups: α-gliadins, β-gliadins, γ-gliadins, and ω-gliadins. α-Gliadins, β-gliadins, and γ-gliadins contain intrachain disulfide bonds, whereas ω-gliadins lack cysteine residues, a sulfur containing amino acid, and so cannot form disulfide bonds…

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.

Innovation directions

Issue 2 2008, Past issues  •  13 June 2008  •  Francesco Pantò, Roberto Ranieri and Renzo Rizzo, R&D, Barilla G. e R. Fratelli

Pasta is recognised as a family menu staple because it offers a number of unique benefits that other foods do not, such as a broad taste appeal, the versatility of usage, the convenience of preparation and being an inexpensive alternative to other main entrees.

Utilisation of durum wheat for yellow alkaline noodles

Issue 2 2008, Past issues  •  13 June 2008  •  David W. Hatcher and James E. Dexter, Canadian Grain Commission Grain Research Laboratory

Durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf) is a tetraploid wheat that is believed to have arisen from ancient emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum) in the Mediterranean areas of Asia, Africa and Europe (Abdel-Aal et al, 1998) in approximately 300 B.C. Durum wheat has hard kernels and is usually milled into coarse flour, known as semolina, primarily for the manufacture of pasta (Feillet and Dexter, 1996). Durum wheat is also used for couscous, bulgur and specialty bread products, particularly in Mediterranean countries (Quaglia, 1988). There is an advantage in having developed alternative uses for durum wheat to increase its marketability in years of high production. Most previous efforts to increase durum’s marketability have centred on its bread making capabilities (Edwards et al., 2007 and references therein).


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