Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The making of pasta

Pasta is made from the hardest of wheat (durum). Grain protein quality and gluten quality of durum wheat have an important effect on pasta making technology characteristics and resistance to overcooking.

The commercial value of the finished product depends on the total amount of storage proteins and their amino acid composition.

When making pasta it should ideally use only the best and freshest ingredients as this will ensure the end product will be the highest quality both in appearance and flavor.

Pasta has two main ingredients: water and either flour or semolina. Semolina is choice for commercial pasta maker.

Dough made from it requires less water than flours, and pasta dough contain only about 25% water compared to about 40% in bread dough.

In pasta making, after the dough is made it is extruded into various shapes. The gluten matrix of semolina is stronger than that of flours and can withstand the pressure of extraction into spaghetti rods or other shapes of pasta. The dough is pressed to the specific holes of a die at temperatures of 40-50 degree C.

In the die pressures of 80-120 atm occur.

The dough then is dried to about 10% moisture before it is fit for transportation and storage. This process is sensitive and requires much care to assure the timing and temperatures are perfect to dry thoroughly but not too quickly.

If the temperature set too high, the pasta will become rigid on the surface and escaping inner moisture will cause cracking when it is removed later in the drying process.

The objective of the extrusion part of pasta making is to create the shape of the product and impart the necessary internal structure that will satisfy the visual and organoleptic expectations of the eventual consumer.

Up to 5.5% egg solid by weight may be added to pasta to produce egg noodles. The main purpose for the addition of eggs is for color and flavor.

Up to early 19th century, pasta was produced on a small scale, almost exclusively by housewife and cooks. Pasta making machinery appeared on the market halfway through the 19th century. At the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, Italian-type pasta making factories were established in other countries as well.
The making of pasta
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