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Pasta Firmness and Cook Profile

Situation

Close up uncooked penne pastaA processor of several different kinds of pasta was looking for a more consistent and less time consuming way to control its outgoing product. Current methods involve extensive sensory testing with trained panels. This is very subjective and often tedious to set up.
 

As with most processed food products, the incoming raw ingredients are constantly changing. The flour that is used differs depending on where it is grown and at what time of the year it is harvested. This causes inconsistencies in the starch and protein levels in the product. Because of this, several different flours are often mixed to produce a constant starting point of the pasta production. Even still, it is a continuous battle to produce the same product from day to day.

 

Method

texture evaluation of pasta results graphBefore testing, enough pasta was cooked to perform several replications. For this particular test, penne pasta was used but this method could be applied to any number of pasta shapes. In order to show a difference in the product, different cook times were used. After the pasta cooked, drained, and cooled it was ready to be tested. 100 grams of pasta was placed in a CS-1 standard shear cell. This cell consists of 10 blades that first compress and then shear through the product. The force required to do this is a good indicator of the firmness of the pasta. Additionally, the negative force caused by the pasta when the blades are retracting is an indication of the stickiness of the sample. Both of these are important factors in the consumer’s overall impression of the product.

 

Significance

pasta texture evaluation data table

• Quick and easy test that gives repeatable, objective results with less effort and time than traditional sensory evaluation.

• Reduces the possibility of downtime due to a product that does not meet quality standards.
• Able to predict how consumers will react to product when results are compared to the sensory panel data

  

Trusted by customers across the world

My first contact with FTC was through buying texture analyzer equipment as my area of interest is Rheology. We faced a problem operating the appliance. The company tried hard to help us through the internet, but the University thought it was better to send me to the company branch located in England. I received a highly advanced training course for 10 days free of charge. They provided me with programs that operate the equipment along with the information needed.

It was a great effort and outstanding support. I would like to thank Shirl Lakeway and FTC for providing me with this opportunity and for his continuous help. Finally, I encourage researchers who are interested in the physical properties of foods and dairy to choose FTC as it is a respectable and dependable company and offers the best deals concerning prices and training with different languages, such as Arabic for the Middle East.

Professor Hoda El-Zeini, Dairy Science and Agriculture University - Cairo, Egypt
Professor
https://cu.edu.eg

I have found FTC to be an excellent partner for our company. In particular, it has been especially gratifying to work with Shirl Lakeway. Both creative and accommodating, he worked very hard with us to develop our projects.

I appreciate his commitment to our joint efforts and his open-minded approach. He and FTC have been exceptionally helpful.

Steve Antonius, Del Monte Foods
http://www.delmonte.com/

I have been using the TMS-Pro mechanical tester in our undergraduate biological materials property course for the past 3 years. The simple setup and operation of the TMS-Pro allows my students to focus on learning the theoretical underpinnings of mechanical properties instead of fighting with a finicky test system.

An added bonus is working with Shirl and his amazing team at Food Technology Corporation. They respond almost immediately to questions and inquiries and are always friendly and helpful. 

Jennifer (Melander) Keshwani, Ph.D. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
http://www.unl.edu/