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Research Project: Soft Kernel Durum Wheat: Removing the Culinary Constraints of this Genetically Rich Cereal Species

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Title: Influence of soft kernel texture on fresh durum pasta

Author
item MURRAY, JESSICA - WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
item Kiszonas, Alecia
item Morris, Craig

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/31/2018
Publication Date: 11/9/2018
Citation: Murray, J.C., Kiszonas, A., Morris, C.F. 2018. Influence of soft kernel texture on fresh durum pasta. Journal of Food Science. 83(11):2812-2818. https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.14363.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.14363

Interpretive Summary: This study examines the quality of fresh pasta made from soft durum flour. Pasta made from flour has long been considered to be inferior to semolina pasta. Durum flour is typically lower quality than semolina due to excessive starch damage and common wheat flour does not exhibit the desired pasta color or texture. Soft durum allows for a unique examination of a high quality and low starch damage. The quality of fresh pasta made from three soft durum varietals was evaluated and compared to commercial samples of durum flour, durum semolina, and bread flour. Flour properties for each sample were assessed prior to pasta fabrication. Pasta was formed, cooked immediately, and then evaluated for pasta quality. Color was evaluated as flour or semolina, again as raw pasta, and finally as cooked pasta. It is important to note that this study examines fresh pasta quality, not dried pasta. Fresh pasta quality is correlated to but not exactly the same as dried pasta quality. The drying steps have a large impact on the starch and protein properties of the pasta, which in turn alter the quality of the final pasta.

Technical Abstract: Pasta though largely associated with Italy has become a global food. Pasta is a relatively simple food, normally made of only durum semolina and water, known for its versatility and ease of storage. This study examines the quality of fresh pasta made from a new wheat classification, soft durum, as compared to commercial samples of durum semolina, durum flour, and bread flour. The soft durum pasta exhibits cooking loss, weight increase, firmness, stickiness, and color properties comparable or superior to those exhibited by the durum semolina. The soft durum samples also exhibit quality superior to both the durum flour and bread flour samples. These results challenge the long standing conclusion that pasta made from flour is inferior to pasta made of durum semolina.