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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Vignaux, Nathalie
item Doehlert, Douglas
item Elias, Elias
item Mcmullen, Michael
item Grant, Linda
item Kianian, Shahryar

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/13/2004
Publication Date: 2/1/2005
Citation: Vignaux, N., Doehlert, D.C., Elias, E.M., Mcmullen, M.S., Grant, L.A., Kianian, S.F. 2005. Quality of spaghetti made from full and partial waxy durum wheat. Cereal Chemistry. Vol. 82:93-100

Interpretive Summary: A new type of durum wheat has been developed that contains waxy starch. Normal starch contains both amylose and amylopectin, but because of a mutation, waxy starch contains no amylose. The change in the starch has a profound affect on the cooking quality of the pasta made from waxy durum. Waxy pasta cooks up softer than normal pasta and has significantly greater cooking loss, both of which are negative characteristics. Although waxy pasta cooks faster than normal pasta, it is less resistant to overcooking than normal pasta. The negative characteristics of waxy durum pasta appear to indicate that this novel form of wheat is not suitable for pasta production. However, waxy durum may offer advantages in other applications.

Technical Abstract: The waxy character is achieved in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var. durum) when the granule bound starch synthase activity is eliminated. The result is a crop that produces kernels with no amylose in the starch. The presence of two waxy loci in tetraploid wheat permits the production of two partial waxy wheat genotypes. Advanced full and partial waxy durum wheat genotypes were used to study the effect of waxy null alleles on pasta quality. Semolina from full and partial waxy kernels was processed into spaghetti with a semi-commercial scale extruder and pasta quality was evaluated. Cooked waxy pasta was softer and exhibited more cooking loss than pasta made from traditional durum cultivars. These features were attributed to lower setback of waxy starch, as measured with the Rapid Visco Analyzer. High cooking loss may be due to the lack of amylose-protein interaction, preventing the formation of a strong protein network and permitting exudates to escape. Waxy pasta cooked faster, but was less resistant to over-cooking than normal pasta. Partial waxy pasta properties were similar to results obtained from wild-type pasta. This indicates that the presence of a single pair of functional waxy genes in durum wheat was sufficient to generate durum grain with normal properties for pasta production. Waxy durum wheat is not satisfactory for pasta production because of its softening effect. However, this property may offer an advantage in other applications.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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