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Abstract

Pasta, a delicious meal favorite and the signature dish of many of the world's most famous chefs and a bonding comfort meal for millions all over the world, it has been recognized as an identifying ingredient of traditional healthy Mediterranean and Latin American meals. Pasta has come a long way from the days when it was erroneously considered by consumers to be a "fattening food." Today it is perceived as one of the "healthy options." In fact, because pasta is so supremely versatile as a base to a meal, it is easily possible to serve it in ways to satisfy both our notions of "healthy eating" and our appetites for interesting and tasty food. Pasta, being so popular as a delicious family meal favorite and equally relished all over the world, it deserves a lot than any other food to serve as an ideal functional food. Here we analyze various health ingredients that have been incorporated in pasta as disease/disorder curing agents and/or potent nutritional supplements and their effects on cooking and quality parameters of pasta as well as their various health benefits and therapeutic attributes.
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Health Based Pasta: Redefining the Concept of the Next
Generation Convenience Food
Murali Krishnan a & P. Prabhasankar a
a Flour Milling, Baking and Confectionery Technology Department, Central Food
Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India
Available online: 23 May 2011
To cite this article: Murali Krishnan & P. Prabhasankar (2012): Health Based Pasta: Redefining the Concept of the Next
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Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 52:9–20 (2012)
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DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2010.486909
Health Based Pasta: Redefining the
Concept of the Next Generation
Convenience Food
MURALI KRISHNAN and P. PRABHASANKAR
Flour Milling, Baking and Confectionery Technology Department, Central Food Technological Research Institute,
Mysore, India
Pasta, a delicious meal favorite and the signature dish of many of the world’s most famous chefs and a bonding comfort meal
for millions all over the world, it has been recognized as an identifying ingredient of traditional healthy Mediterranean and
Latin American meals. Pasta has come a long way from the days when it was erroneously considered by consumers to be a
“fattening food.” Today it is perceived as one of the “healthy options.” In fact, because pasta is so supremely versatile as a
base to a meal, it is easily possible to serve it in ways to satisfy both our notions of “healthy eating” and our appetites for
interesting and tasty food. Pasta, being so popular as a delicious family meal favorite and equally relished all over the world,
it deserves a lot than any other food to serve as an ideal functional food. Here we analyze various health ingredients that
have been incorporated in pasta as disease/disorder curing agents and/or potent nutritional supplements and their effects
on cooking and quality parameters of pasta as well as their various health benefits and therapeutic attributes.
Keywords pasta, semolina, functional ingredients, health ingredients, nutritional supplements
INTRODUCTION
Functional foods have been defined by the Food and Nutrition
Board of the National Academy of Sciences as “any modified
food or food ingredient that may provide a health benefit be-
yond that of the nutrients it contains.” Pasta by itself is a healthy
nutritional diet, and has great scope as an ideal functional food
if supplemented with additional health ingredients. Pasta has
obviously been recognized all over the world as an identify-
ing ingredient of a traditional healthy diet. Associated with the
rapid increase in the interesting functional foods is a lack of
understanding of how the active components function in food
systems and in health promotion. For instance, processing can
affect the activity of the bioactive compounds. The complexity
of food systems does not find itself in a “one size fits all” ratio-
nale. Thus the compatibility and the stability of the foods after
cooking should be of prime concern. Hence the addition, identi-
fication, and quantification of bioactive compounds in finished
products are necessary if functional foods are to have an impact
on human health.
Address correspondence to P. Prabhashankar, Flour Milling, Baking and
Confectionery Technology Department, Central Food Technological Research
Institute, Mysore 570020, India; Tel.: 91-821-2517730 Fax: 91-821-2517233.
E-mail: psankar@cftri.res.in
Taking this context into consideration there is a need to ex-
plore different health ingredients, both plant and animal based,
that are compatible with the physiological characteristics of
pasta and stability after cooking. Also, supplementation of the
health ingredient should in no way affect the palatability as well
as the consumer preference. Apart from the additional health
benefits it offers, it should be rather delicious as well.
Pasta, a traditional food with origins from the first century BC
(Agnesi, 1996) is popular for its ease of cooking and its nutri-
tional qualities. It is becoming increasingly popular worldwide
because of its convenience, nutritional quality, and palatability
(Cubadda, 1994). The word “pasta” is Italian for “dough.” Pasta
is made from durum wheat semolina or from the flour of cer-
tain other grains mixed with water and/or eggs, which is then
kneaded and formed into various shapes, dried, and boiled prior
to eating. Pasta has become a truly international dish, and the
growing body of scientific evidence for its healthfulness is very
good news for people who want to eat for health, for taste, and
for convenience. The very early evidence of pasta can be traced
to Italian soil. Following the expansion of the Roman Empire,
the Romans brought the usage of pasta all over Europe. But as far
as Asia is concerned, it seems that the oldest document about
pasta is found in China. Noodles were known to the Chinese
about 5000 BC. Now the current range of products referred to
9
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10 M. KRISHNAN AND P. PRABHASHANKAR
as pasta is relatively vast, even if these products vary widely in
terms of their shape, color, composition, storage requirements,
and usage.
Based on shape and size, pasta can be classified into long and
short type pastas. The long type includes small linguini, linguini,
vermicelli, spaghettini, and spaghetti; the short type includes
butterflies—farfalle, conchiglie-shells, elbow shells—pipe
rigate, penne-pen points, half-pen points—pennette, mezze
penne—short pen points, helix—fusilli, rigatoni, and orecchi-
ette.
PASTA PREPARATION
Semolina and water are premixed in a spar mixer to facilitate
the uniform distribution of water. The premixed dough is trans-
ferred to a pasta machine and further mixed and kneaded. The
dough is then extruded through an extruder and dried in a drier,
cooled to room temperature, and then packed for storage.
A variety of additives can be used to improve the tech-
nological properties as well as the nutritional status of pasta.
This may include emulsifiers and hydrocolloids to improve the
surface properties, water retention, and pasting characteristics;
protein supplements to give better cooking characteristics, an-
tioxidants to prevent deterioration of pasta color, and various
other nutritional supplements like dietary fibers and β- glucans,
legume flours, nutraceuticals, herbal products, and even some
long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The addition of a so-called functional ingredient to a tradi-
tional food matrix is the simplest and most common way to
realize a functional food. Simple addition of a functional ingre-
dient should be performed taking into account many variables,
such as the interaction with the food matrix, the stability in the
product, and the bioavailability from the final product.
In recent years, scientific evidence exalting the physiological,
nutritional, and therapeutical effects of various ingredients has
led to the incorporation of those into various food products
including pasta. Functional pasta can be classified into two main
categories.
1. Plant ingredients based health pasta.
2. Animal ingredients based health pasta.
These are again categorized into those aiming to
Improve nutritional/physiological functions.
Reduce the risk of specific pathologies.
Among foods improving physiological functions, gut health,
immune system activity, and mental performance have been
selected while cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and os-
teoporosis are the main targets of functional foods aiming at
preventing specific pathologies.
Health Based Pasta: The Need of the Hour
Over consumption of high-fat and high calorie foods increase
the risk for cardiovascular disease, some forms of diabetes, and
sub-optimal health. As a guide to better nutrition, the USDA in
1992 put forth the Food Guide Pyramid to promote diets that
would reduce fat and calories by recommending more frequent
consumption of cereal products, fruits, and vegetables. Cereal
products are a diverse group ranging from whole grains to ready-
to-eat or cooked convenience foods. Pasta, a processed cereal
product is a part of the daily diet of most households. Hence it
has enormous scope and potential to serve as a health regulatory
functional diet.
Plant Based Health Ingredients
Proteins
Apart from curing diseases, plant based ingredients are
also being used to supplement pasta to improve various nutri-
tional/physiological functions. Fortification of foods accessible
to the target population is one of the approaches suggested to
deal with hypovitaminosis and other nutritional disorders.
Pasta is also supplemented with high biological value pro-
teins. Proteins are chosen from the group comprising durum
grain gluten proteins, common wheat gluten proteins, pea pro-
teins, soybean proteins, lacto proteins, and rice proteins.
Lipids/ Pigments
Incorporation of β-carotene to pasta can be accomplished by
preparing first a highly colored premix with an oil solution of the
pigment and wheat flour. Alternatively, carotene could be added
in the form of water dispersible beadlets during the operations
of wetting and mixing of the flour (Bauernfeind, 1981).
Lutein is a nutrient indispensable to the human organism but
is not synthesized and therefore must be consumed with the diet
through different kinds of food, in particular with vegetables
with large and numerous leaves, such as cabbage, spinach, etc.
Lutein is important for preserving anatomic and functional in-
tegrity of the macula lutea of the eye, which represents the point
where the images are received before being transmitted to the
brain. In the case of the macula, this is a fundamental structure
for the eyesight that is to be preserved in its functional integrity
since it can undergo a process of degeneration, particularly in
old age, and can cause irreparable damage to eyesight. Lutein
is a yellow-colored natural pigment. Chemically it is an organic
substance, carotenoid, with antioxidant activity.
A less well-known omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
comes only from plant sources. It occurs naturally in foods like
walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil, soy, and wheat germ. Because the
body cannot manufacture ALA, it is considered an essential
fatty acid. The body converts ALA to EPA, and then EPA to
DHA. However, this conversion is not at all efficient; studies
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PASTA 11
Tab l e 1 Plant based health ingredients and their functional properties
Health ingredient Functionalities Reference
Inulin Stimulates the growth of probiotic organisms in colon, hypoglycemic effect, hypocholesterolemic effect Brennan et al., 2004
Guar and acacia fibers Hypoglycemic effect, Hypocholesterolemic effect Gatti et al.,1984
Psyllium seed husk/flour Hypocholesterolemic effect Anderson et al., 1992
β-glucans Hypocholesterolemic effect Braaten et al., 1994
Lycopene Anti oxidant and anti carcinogenic properties Pszczola, 1998
Isoflavones Hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effect, antioxidant properties, beneficial effects on heart, bones
and brain, anti inflammatory, anti carcinogenic, improves immune system functions
Taha and Wasif, 1996.
β-carotene Pro-vitamin A activity, antioxidant activity, Bauernfeind, 1981
Lutein Improves immune system functions, inhibition of peroxidation of membrane lipids, antioxidant activity,
anti-inflammatory activity, antitumoural activity, prevents senile macular degeneration
Pszczola 1998
Flax seed Hypocholesterolemic effect Arjmandi et al., 1998,
Goodnight, 1993
Conjugated fatty acids Antitumor, Antiobese, Antiatherogenic, Antidiabetic Rainer and Heiss, 2004
suggest that less than 10% of ALA ends up as EPA. Still, some
conversion to DHA is better than none.
At present, conjugated fatty acids (CFAs) have received
considerable attention because of their potentially benefi-
cial biologic effects of attenuating lifestyle-related diseases
(Rainer and Heiss, 2004). CFAs are a mixture of positional
and geometric isomers of polyunsaturated fatty acids with con-
jugated double bonds. Reports indicate that CFAs have po-
tent beneficial effects, including antitumor, antiobesity, an-
tiatherogenic, and antidiabetic activities. Some of the plant
seed oils contain rich amount of CFAs. Punicic acid (9c, 11t,
13c–conjugated linolenic acid [CLN]) in pomegranate seed oil,
α-eleostearic acid (9c, 11t, 13t–CLN) in bitter gourd oil and
tungseed oil, catalpic acid (9t, 11t, 13c-CLN) in catalpa seed oil,
and calendic acid (8t, 10t, 12c-CLN) in pot marigold seed oil
(Suzuki et al., 2001).
Fiber
Both soluble and insoluble alimentary fibers are used to en-
rich the pasta products to combat various health problems. Com-
monly used alimentary fibers in pasta products are guar gum,
pectin, xanthans, inulin, green banana fiber, legume fiber, olive
powder, psyllium seed husk, ß-glucans, and common wheat in-
soluble fiber (Braaten et al., 1994; Gatti et al., 1984; Wood et al.,
1990).
Valid scientific tests exist demonstrating that the presence
in the diet of a suitable amount of alimentary fibers, partic-
ularly of its components, remarkably reduces the risk of the
so-called “civilization diseases,” such as obesity, diabetes, hy-
pertension, arteriosclerosis, and alimentary system pathologies.
Besides having the function of preventing the occurring of the
above-mentioned pathologies, alimentary fibers also have other
bioactive properties. For example, inulin, a polysaccharide be-
longing to the soluble fraction of the fiber, stimulates the grow-
ing of probiotic organisms in colon, such as bifido bacteria and
lactobacilli, thus acting as a probiotic agent. Psyllium enriched
pasta is administered to humans and animals susceptible to hy-
percholesterolemia in need of dietary regulation. It has been
theorized that psyllium belongs to gel forming soluble fibers
which interferes with the absorption and metabolism of choles-
terol. The functionality of plant based health ingredients has
been summarized in Table 1.
Animal Based Health Ingredients
Proteins
Like plant based health ingredients, pasta has been incorpo-
rated with a few animal based health ingredients as well. Animal
based ingredients include animal proteins, animal extracts, and
other animal isolates-dairy based ingredients, nutritional lipids
and oils, dried blood plasma (DBP), vitamins, and premixes.
Animal proteins include fish protein concentrate, egg protein,
whey protein, etc.
Fish protein concentrate supplemented to flours of rice, corn,
and soya could contribute significantly to the protein intake of
the population of developing countries (Kristinsson and Rasco,
2000). As pasta may well be considered a universal food it
is chosen as a carrier of fish protein concentrate. Pasta was
evaluated organoleptically and in animal feeding studies and
also was evaluated objectively. Both 10% and 20% fish protein
concentrate additions were efficient in increasing the protein
content and nutritional value of pasta.
Whey, a liquid by-product, is widely accepted to con-
tain many valuable constituents. These especially include
proteins that possess important nutritional and biological
properties—particularly with regard to promotion of health, as
well as prevention of diseases and health conditions. Both whey
protein concentrate and whey protein isolates are used as vectors
for the promotion of many biological properties upon addition to
foods. Antimicrobial and antiviral actions, immune system stim-
ulation, anticarcinogenic activity, and other metabolic features
have indeed been associated with such whey proteins, as alpha-
lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, and
bovine serum albumin. Whey protein has also proved to have
anticarcinogenic properties. Whey proteins have been claimed
by Tsuda et al. (2000) to prevent cancer; examples include breast
and intestinal cancers in female rats, when included in their diet
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12 M. KRISHNAN AND P. PRABHASHANKAR
(MacIntosh et al., 1995; Badger et al., 2001). Whey proteins
lower plasma and liver cholesterol, as well as plasma triacyl-
glycerol levels (Beena and Prasad, 1997). Whey represents a
rich source of proteins with varied chemical, physical, and bio-
logical properties and has been acknowledged for its therapeutic
and prophylactic value. Taking these properties under consider-
ation whey protein is being used as a potential health ingredient
in pasta.
Lipids
Animal extracts include beef liver extract, fish liver extract,
etc. Not all omega-3-fatty acids are equally available to the body.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
are the omega-3-fatty acids found in fish and fish oil supple-
ments. Both DHA and EPA are readily available to the body
and play important roles in the functioning of cell membranes,
as well as immunity and neurological systems, and are linked
to a lower risk of heart disease. Not all omega-3-fatty acids
are from fish. A less well-known omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic
acid (ALA) comes only from plant sources. The functional-
ity of animal based health ingredients has been summarized in
Table 2.
HEALTH BASED PASTA FOR SPECIFIC PATHOLOGIES
Having had a detailed discussion on various health ingredi-
ents and their properties, health based pasta for specific diseases
are focused upon in this section.
Hypoglycemic Effects
A study was conducted by supplementing chick pea (Cicer
arietinum) flour to pasta (Goni et al., 2002). Two types of pasta
(spaghetti) were used for the study. Pasta 1 was processed with
durum wheat flour (wheat spaghetti) and pasta 2 was elaborated
from a mixture (75/25) of durum wheat flour and chickpea flour
(wheat–chickpea spaghetti). Both types of spaghetti were boiled
in water for 10 minutes. The postprandial rises in blood glucose
concentrations were smaller in case of spaghetti supplemented
with chickpea flour. Chickpea flour reduced the hyperglycemia
peak and the total hyperglycemia phase. Chickpea flour reduced
the hyperglycemia peak and the total hyperglycemia phase. The
glycemic index of chickpea flour incorporated spaghetti was
significantly lower than the wheat spaghetti. The study arrived
at a conclusion that chickpea flour reduced the hyperglycemia
peak and the total hyperglycemia phase.
Taha and Wasif (1996) conducted a study on the hypo-
glycemic effect of soy and methionine supplemented whole
durum pasta products. The results indicated that the adminis-
tration of all cooked pasta samples tested succeeded in decreas-
ing hyperglycemia of rats within a 50 days period. The hypo-
glycemic effect of the diets was in the following order 12% Soya
Flour-Whole Durum with methionine >12% Soya Flour-Whole
Durum >7% Soya Flour-Whole Durum >Whole Durum pasta
products. Since pasta made of unrefined whole durum solely or
with soya flour contains a great portion of fibers influencing hy-
perglycemia, the decrease of cholesterol levels could be affected
by improving diabetes, which provoked hypercholesterolemia in
these rats. Not only cholesterol, but also triglycerides, phospho-
lipids, and total lipids were significantly reduced in the plasma
of rat groups fed high-fiber pasta products. The lowering effect
of high-dietary fiber diets could be explained through their con-
tact with the intestinal mucosa, as they may exert considerable
influence upon transport, perhaps due to the formation of a gel
on the intestinal unstirred layer that reduces the glucose pas-
sage. Overall, considering nutritional evaluation, protein cost,
and hypoglycemic effect combined, 12% Soya Flour-Whole Du-
rum pasta with 0.3% methionine represented the best high-fiber,
high protein, and high-quality product and could be beneficial
for special groups of people such as diabetics, the obese, and
those suffering from atherosclerosis and constipation, as well as
nutrition-conscious consumers.
Studies have illustrated that the glycemic response of pasta
can be lowered further by the addition of soluble fiber including
guar gum (Gatti et al., 1984) and β-glucan (Yokoyama et al.,
1997). The most widely known nutritional benefits of β-glucans
(from both oat and barley grains) are the attenuation of blood
glucose and insulin (Wood et al., 1990; 1994). Soluble dietary
fibers are believed to slow the release of reducing sugars from
food and hence lower postprandial blood glucose level by sev-
eral mechanisms, including reduced amylolysis (Colonna et al.,
1990), but more specifically at the gastrointestinal level, through
delayed gastric emptying (Cherburt, 1995) and reduced nutrient
motility (Braaten et al., 1991).
The effect of the addition of a β-glucan fiber fraction from
barley to durum wheat pasta was evaluated by Cleary and Bren-
nan (2006) in terms of cooking characteristics, structure, tex-
ture, and in vitro starch digestibility. Barley β-glucan (BBG)
Tab l e 2 Animal based health ingredients and their functional properties
Health ingredient Functionalities Reference
Fish Protein Protein supplements Kristinsson and Rasco, 2000
Whey Protein Antimicrobial, antiviral, immune system stimulations, anti-carcinogenic activities
Hypocholesterolemic effect
Tsuda et al., 2000, MacIntosh et al., 1995
DHA & EPA, ω3 fatty acids
and fish oils
Role in immune and neurological systems. Hypocholesterolemic effect Iafelice et al., 2008, Park et al., 2000
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PASTA 13
fiber fraction was incorporated into pasta at 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%,
and 10% inclusion rates. Incorporation of the BBG fiber frac-
tion to pasta attenuated reducing sugar release during in vitro
digestion, the magnitude of reduction being related to the level
of BBG fiber fraction inclusion. The dry matter (DM) values of
raw BBG fiber fraction pastas were similar to that of the con-
trol pasta (P >0.05). However, the DM values of cooked pasta
containing 2.5% and 5% BBG fiber fraction were significantly
lower than the control pasta, possibly indicating elevated loss
of organic matter during cooking (P <0.05). The DM values of
pastas made with 7.5% and 10% BBG fiber fraction were not
significantly different from the control (P >0.05). The cooking
loss values of pasta containing the BBG fiber fraction were gen-
erally higher than that observed for the control sample, although
it must be noted that only in the case of the 2.5% BBG fiber frac-
tion was the reported cooking loss significantly higher than the
control (P <0.05). Dry matter or total organic matter and cook-
ing loss values theoretically reflect the quantity of starch and
other biochemical components that are released from the pasta
protein matrix and subsequently lost to the cooking medium.
Another investigation on low glycemic pasta was done by
Brennan et al. (2004). The objective was to study the effects of
the addition of inulin, a non-digestible fructo-oligosaccharide,
on the cooking properties, texture, and nutritional characteris-
tics of durum wheat pasta. Pasta (spaghetti) was made from
commercial durum semolina flour, water, and inulin using a
single-screw extruder. Inulin was added at 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, and
10% (g/100 g of flour). Pasta without inulin was kept as con-
trol. The nutritional quality of inulin-enriched pasta, in terms of
its digestibility, was determined by an in vitro method, which
monitored the amount of reducing sugars released over a 5 hour
period. The results gave a good indication of the rate of starch
degradation. The values of reducing sugars released during in
vitro digestion of the pasta sample suggest that the rate of di-
gestion of pasta declined with increasing inulin addition.
Cooking properties of the inulin-enriched pasta samples were
also shown to be better than durum wheat control pasta. Com-
pared to the control, pasta containing inulin showed a signifi-
cant increase in dry matter content and a significant lowering of
the swelling index. Textural characteristics of the cooked pasta
samples clearly illustrate that the addition of inulin to the pasta
formulation does not significantly affect pasta stickiness, since
the figures for stickiness of inulin-containing pasta were not sig-
nificantly different from the control. Elasticity of inulin pasta
samples also appeared similar to the control sample. However,
the firmness of pasta containing inulin appeared to be generally
lower than the control pasta, and the results showed a trend of
decreasing firmness as the inulin content was increased.
Results presented in this paper support the idea that non-
starch polysaccharides can inhibit starch degradation and hence
alter the amount of sugars released during the digestion of
carbohydrate-rich foods, with little influence on the textural
attributes of the final product.
Research conducted by Osorio-Diaz (2008) suggested that
resistant starch from the green fruits of plantain and banana
may boost the fiber content of foods such as instant noodles.
Noodles formulated with durum wheat flour and isolated plan-
tain starch contained resistant starch levels double that ob-
tained in standard noodles. Starches can be divided into three
groups: rapidly digestible starch (RDS, digested within 20 min-
utes), slowly digestible starch (SDS, digested between 20 and
120 minutes), and resistant starch (RS). The latter is not di-
gested but is fermented in the large intestine and has “prebiotic”
properties. Resistant starch can be found naturally in banana,
cold cooked potatoes, pasta and rice, as well as baked beans
and lentils. The researchers tested plantain because the RS con-
tent is reported to be around 50%, which was attributed to the
“granular structure” of the starch. Noodles were prepared using
different durum wheat flour and plantain starch ratios of 90:10,
80:20, and 70:30, and compared to control noodles prepared
using 100% durum wheat flour. Noodles containing the plan-
tain starch exhibited a limited digestibility due to their relatively
high resistant starch content and a moderate in vitro predicted
glycemic index. They may represent a dietary option for sectors
of the population with particular caloric and glycemic require-
ments such as diabetic patients and overweight individuals.
Another breakthrough in lowering of the glycemic index of
pasta was brought about by isoflavones which are diphenolic
compounds present in many edible plants which are among the
main constituents of the phytoestrogen class. Isoflavones of nat-
ural origin or of synthesis were added to hard corn flour dough
in amounts between 10 and 1000 mg per kg of pasta. Water
was added to the mixture in the amount of about 30%. The
resulting dough was subject to the subsequent operations by us-
ing for a dye for spaghetti for this purpose. 9.5 kg of spaghetti
were obtained wherein it was verified that it contained the same
amount of isoflavones initially introduced in the dough. The
pasta obtained thus was given to 12 healthy subjects in whom
the glycemic index was calculated in the above-described way,
that is, by using for each subject, first, bread as a carbohydrates
source, then pasta of the conventional type, and then pasta ac-
cording to the present invention. Isoflavone enriched pasta re-
sulted in showing a glycemic index reduced by 28% with respect
to traditional pasta (Clerici et al., 2007).
Hypocholestrolemic Effects
Hypercholesterolemia has a long association with many dis-
eases, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recent stud-
ies suggest Isoflavone-rich pasta is effective in boosting heart
health. Stephen (2007) reported that pasta, enriched with soy
isoflavones in the aglycone form, can effectively reduce blood
levels of total and LDL cholesterol by about 8%. The study has
implications for using soy isoflavones as functional ingredients
for heart healthy foods, with the manufacturing process key to
the natural enrichment of the pasta with isoflavone aglycones.
Anderson et al. (1992) studied the effect of psyllium seed
husk on pasta quality and came to a conclusion that psyllium-
enriched pasta products may be administered to humans and
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14 M. KRISHNAN AND P. PRABHASHANKAR
animals susceptible to or afflicted with hypercholesterolemia
to lower serum cholesterol or to individuals in need of dietary
regulation. However, due to its mucilaginous nature, psyllium
acquires a slimy or adhesive texture and mouth feel upon hydra-
tion. Psyllium normally forms a gelatinous mass when contacted
with water and exhibits poor dispensability and mixability in
water. Psyllium also develops a distinctive, undesirable flavor in
the presence of heat and moisture which further limits its use in
food products. This invention provides for a pasta food product
enriched with ultra-fine psyllium, that is, the psyllium commin-
uted to a fine particle size range which renders it dispersible
in pasta dough, yielding organoleptically acceptable pasta. It
has been discovered that new psyllium ground to an ultra-fine
powder may be easily blended with other pasta ingredients to
yield excellent pasta. It has also been discovered that incorpo-
ration of ultra-fine psyllium into the dough allows the extruder
pressure to be decreased approximately 10 to 30% compared
to a comparable pasta formulation without the ultra-fine psyl-
lium. The amount of ultra-fine psyllium incorporated into a
pasta product may vary from about 1.0 gm to about 6.0 g per
56.69 g of pasta. The preferred range of ultra-fine psyllium is
from about 1.5 g to about 4.0 g per 56.69 g of pasta product. This
study suggests that the afore-mentioned pasta formulation de-
creases the serum cholesterol level and reduces the risk of CVDs
(Anderson et al.,1992).
Another important hypocholesterolemic agent is omega-3-
fatty acids. This too has been utilized as a potential func-
tional ingredient in pasta. Results concerning the production of
spaghetti enriched in long-chain (LC) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty
acids (PUFA) and, in particular, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) are reported. Pasta enrich-
ment was obtained by adding different amounts of integrator
(0.6, 1.2, and 1.8%) containing EPA (C20:5 n-3) and DHA
(C22:6 n-3) in a microencapsulated form to commercial
semolina. The addition of 1.2% integrator yielded spaghetti that
provides approximately 20% of the recommended daily intake
of LC n-3 PUFA with high sensorial acceptability and low loss
of LC n-3 PUFA after cooking (<10%). Thus, spaghetti fortified
with EPA +DHA could be used to increase consumption of LC
n-3 PUFA and to decrease the dietary n-6/n-3 ratio.
Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) is a rich source of
the lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), α-linolenic
acid (ALA [18:3n-3]), and dietary fiber (Dorrel 1970;
Thompson et al., 1991). SDG is the predominant lignan found in
flaxseed. The lignans of flaxseed are phytoestrogens and serve
as precursors in the production of mammalian lignans. Flaxseed
lignans are converted to the mammalian lignans enterolactone
and enterodiol by intestinal flora (Axelson et al., 1981), where
they are believed to protect against hormone-sensitive cancers
(such as breast, prostate, and colon) by reducing estrogen avail-
ability (Thompson et al., 1996). Flaxseed contains 40% to 60%
lipid, in which about 50% is short-chain PUFA (Dorrel 1970).
Short-chain omega-3 fatty acid, is the precursor fatty acid for
the synthesis of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA [20:5n-3]) and do-
cosahexaenoic acid (DHA [22:6n-3]), both of which have been
linked to controlling cardiovascular diseases (Goodnight, 1993).
ALA has been associated with reduced levels of low-density
lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood serum (Pszczola, 1998).
Taking this background into consideration research was con-
ducted to determine the stability of secoisolariciresinol diglu-
coside (SDG) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) in flaxseed-fortified
macaroni by Arjmandi et al. (1998). Research was conducted
to determine the stability of secoisolariciresinol diglucoside
(SDG) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) in flaxseed-fortified maca-
roni. Macaroni was fortified with whole ground flaxseed (GWF)
at levels of 10% to 20% and then dried under low temperature
(LT, 40C), high temperature (HT, 70C), or ultrahigh tempera-
ture (UHT, 90C). Macaroni was also fortified with 15% ground
hull (GHF) or steam-treated whole ground flaxseed (GSWF)
and dried under UHT. The dried macaroni was stored for 32
wk under ambient conditions. Approximately 80% to 95% of
the SDG was recovered, indicating that SDG was stable dur-
ing the 32 wk storage period. Total lipid and ALA levels in all
flaxseed macaroni treatments remained unchanged throughout
the 32 wk storage. This observation was consistent across the
drying conditions and flaxseed addition levels. Conjugated di-
ene (CD) values indicated that macaroni fortified with GWF did
not oxidize significantly during the 32 wk storage for the mac-
aroni dried under HT or UHT. However, a significant increase
(P<0.05) in CD values for macaroni containing 10% and 20%
flaxseed and dried using LT was observed at the 32 wk storage
period. Headspace volatile concentrations did increase over the
storage period for macaroni containing GWF, but the increase
was not significant. Significant increases (P<0.05) in oxidation
were found by 24 wk in GHF- and GSWF-fortified macaroni.
GWF macaroni dried at UHT, HT, or LT could be used as a way
to improve our dietary consumption of ALA and SDG. How-
ever, use of steam as a method to inactivate unwanted enzyme
activity is not recommended. The total lipid content of the 15%
ground hull flaxseed (GHF)-fortified macaroni was 33% lower
than the 15% ground whole flaxseed (GWF)-fortified macaroni.
The concentration of lipids extracted from the flaxseed maca-
roni treatments remained unchanged throughout the shelf life
study. The total lipid contents in the macaroni samples were in
agreement with the predicted values, and differences in the data
were simply due to the varying amounts of flaxseed added to the
pasta formulas. The results indicated that macaroni containing
ground flaxseed and dried at high temperature had the best lipid
stability and would provide a food product that could be used
as a means to reduce the serum cholesterol level.
Anti Cancer Effects
In fact cancer is a serious disease that needs to be tackled by
proper medication, it has been proved scientifically that one of
the major reasons for its occurrence is improper diets and life
style. Diet appears to be associated with many types of cancers.
Hence diet that can regulate or reduce the risk of cancer has
become the need of the hour. In this regard pasta has got a
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PASTA 15
lot to offer. Anticancerous ingredient enriched pasta serves this
purpose to some extent.
Lycopene has proved to have anticancerous properties. The
antioxidant, also responsible for the red color of tomatoes and
other fruits, has been linked to reduced risk of prostate can-
cer in studies. It is marketed increasingly in supplement form
but the new findings, based on a comprehensive prostate-cancer
survival study done on rats, found that it may be more pow-
erful in combination with other phytochemicals in tomatoes
(Pszczola, 1998).
Calcium and vitamin D supplemented foods could achieve
a 20% reduction in colon cancer deaths. Beneficial properties
of calcium and a growing knowledge of its effect on the colon
have been discussed for so long. In the presence of high-fat
diets, increasingly common in the developed world, calcium
helps inactivate the resulting fatty acids in the colon that produce
irritation, cell damage, and other effects that can lead to cancer,
according to research. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of dietary
calcium by the body. The result recommends fortification of
pasta by calcium and vitamin D to tackle colon cancer.
Hypoallergenic Effects
Recently there has been increasing interest in the production
of gluten-free (GF) foods and studies on minor cereals and pseu-
docereals without celiac activity in order to fulfill the specific
needs of people affected by celiac disease. Pasta made from
durum wheat semolina fermented with selected lactobacilli can
be used as a tool for a potential decrease of gluten intolerance
(Di Cagno et al., 2005). Celiac Sprue (CS) is a genetically de-
termined chronic inflammatory intestinal disease induced by
an environmental precipitant, gluten. This study put forward a
technological approach for the manufacture of pasta made of a
mixture of prefermented durum wheat semolina (DWS) and BF,
which may decrease the concentration of nontolerated gliadins.
Lactobacillus alimentarius 15M, Lactobacillus brevis 14G, Lac-
tobacillus sanfranciscensis 7A, and Lactobacillus hilgardii 51B
were selected previously (Di Cagno et al., 2004) on the basis of
their ability to hydrolyze gliadin fractions and various pro-rich
oligopeptides were used in this study.
These selected lactic acid bacteria were used to ferment du-
rum wheat semolina under liquid conditions. After fermentation,
the dough was freeze-dried, mixed with buckwheat flour at a ra-
tio of 3:7, and used to produce the “fusilli” type Italian pasta.
Pasta without pre-fermentation was used as the control. Ingredi-
ents and pastas were characterized for compositional analysis.
As shown by two-dimensional electrophoresis, 92 of the 130 du-
rum wheat gliadin spots were hydrolyzed almost totally during
fermentation by lactic acid bacteria. Mass spectrometry matrix-
assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight and reversed
phase high-performance liquid chromatography analyses con-
firmed the hydrolysis of gliadins. The concentration of gluten
decreased from 6280 ppm in the control pasta to 1045 ppm in
the pasta fermented with lactic acid bacteria. Gliadins were ex-
tracted from fermented and non-fermented durum wheat dough
semolina and used to produce a peptic-tryptic (PT) digest for in
vitro agglutination tests on cells of human origin. The whole PT
digests did not cause agglutination. Affinity chromatography on
Sepharose-6-B mannan column separated the PT digests in three
fractions. Fraction C showed agglutination activity. The mini-
mal agglutinating activity of fraction C from the PT digest of
fermented durum wheat semolina was ca. 80 times higher than
that of durum wheat semolina. Pasta was subjected to sensory
analysis—the scores for stickiness and firmness were slightly
lower than those found for the pasta control. Odor and flavor
did not differ between the two types of pasta. These results
showed that a pasta biotechnology that uses a pre-fermentation
of durum wheat semolina by selected lactic acid bacteria and
tolerated buckwheat flour could be considered as a novel tool
to potentially decrease gluten intolerance and the risk of gluten
contamination in gluten-free products.
Pasta as Nutritional Supplement
Having discussed in detail about various health benefits of
pasta, its nutritional supplementing and functional properties is
the very next aspect to be focused upon.
Legume Supplemented Pasta
Legumes are good sources of dietary complex carbohydrates
(starch and dietary fiber) and protein, minerals, and B vitamins.
Dry pea and lentil contain protein (15% to 38%), fat (1% to 2%),
fiber (4% to 6%), and ash (3% to 4%) (Bahnassey and Khan,
1986). Zhao et al. (2005) conducted a study with the objective
of investigating the effect of the incorporation of dry pea and
lentil flours as nutritional additives in making spaghetti with
specific goals to find the maximal amount of legume flours that
could be incorporated in spaghetti processing, and to investigate
consumer acceptance of the products containing legume flours.
Spaghetti containing legume flours darkened the spaghetti
(P<0.05) but did not affect the cooked weight significantly.
Cooking loss and firmness increased with an increase in legume
flour content. Consumers preferred control spaghetti (without
legume additives) more than the spaghetti containing legume
flours and they slightly liked the spaghetti with 15% lentil or
green pea and the spaghetti with 20% chickpea or yellow pea.
The result emphasized the scope of future research to utilize
preheated legume flour at various particle sizes to enhance the
quality of the products. In addition, other food ingredients may
be required to improve the texture of the spaghetti. This study
also provided a foundation for future understanding of the vari-
ous component interactions between legumes and wheat and for
the improvement of the food quality of pea-spaghetti products.
Chickpea is considered a good starting material in the food
industry because of the large quantity and high quality of its
protein (Rincon et al., 1998) which is comparable with that of
soybean (Singh, 1985) and also because it can be processed
to obtain protein products (Frias et al., 1997). The incorpo-
ration of chickpea flour into pasta also increased the mineral
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16 M. KRISHNAN AND P. PRABHASHANKAR
and fat contents of pasta, which improved its nutritional value
(Goni, et al., 2003). A research was conducted by Sabanis et al.
(2006) with an objective to fortify lasagne by supplementing it
with 5, 10, 20, 30, and 50% w/w chickpea flour. In addition, the
influence of protein and other components upon the rheological
properties of the dough and the cooking quality of the wheat-
chickpea blends was determined. Supplementing lasagne with
5–20% w/w chickpea flour improves the physical characteris-
tics of dough, which achieves optimum strength and extensible
properties thus allowing the lasagne to maintain a firm and
elastic form. Organoleptic properties (color, flavor, and over-
all acceptability) improved with a low proportion of chickpea
flour, especially for 5% w/w substitution. For supplementation
30%, while the content of the total protein increased along
with the level of fortification, lasagne processing, handling, and
cooking characteristics deteriorated proportionally. This could
be attributed primarily to the gluten fraction, which decreases
upon being diluted by the added chickpea protein. The rheolog-
ical properties of high supplemented dough products (30–50%
w/w) have low extensograph values and the lasagne obtained
has a brown color and a soft mushy taste that is unacceptable to
consumers. The study arrived at a conclusion that durum wheat
flour can carry 5–10% (w/w) of chickpea flour and still meet
the specification of pasta products in terms of firmness, cooking
quality, and sensory evaluation.
Germinated dry beans are receiving increasing attention
due to enhanced flavor and nutritional qualities, particularly
throughout the breakdown of certain antinutrients, such as phy-
tate, and flatulence factors (Ghorpade et al., 1989). Pigeon peas
(Cajanus cajan) seeds were germinated for 4 days at 20Cin
darkness in order to improve the nutritional quality of seeds.
Germination brought about a sharp reduction of a-galactosides,
phytic acid, and trypsin inhibitor activity (83%, 61%, and 36%,
respectively) and an increment of vitamin B2 (145%), vitamin
C (from negligible amounts to 14 mg/100 g d.m.), vitamin E
(108%), and total antioxidant capacity (28%). These flours were
used as ingredients to produce pasta products in a proportion
of 5%, 8%, and 10%. The supplemented pasta products had
shorter cooking time and higher water absorption, cooking, and
protein losses in water than had control pasta (100% semolina).
From sensory evaluation, fortified pasta generally had accept-
ability similar to control pasta. Cooked pasta with the highest
level of substitution (semolina: germinated pigeon pea flour at
10%) was chemically and biologically evaluated and the results
showed that protein, fat, dietary fiber, and mineral contents were
improved. Fortified pasta provided more vitamin B1, B2, E, and
antioxidant capacity than did control pasta.
There is an increasing interest among vegetarians and health-
conscious people to consume protein-enriched foods from plant
sources, which have no cholesterol and low saturated fat con-
tent in general. In general, the supplementation of pasta with
higher protein ingredients increased nutritional properties but
had negative effects on the texture, flavor, or acceptability of the
resulting products. Corn gluten meal is the high-protein fraction
from the wet milling of corn to yield starch, oil, protein, and
fiber. The unpleasant taste of corn gluten meal is the main reason
it has not been used in food. Processing by supercritical carbon
dioxide extraction or hexane/ethanol extraction significantly im-
proved the corn gluten meal flavor. Taking this into considera-
tion, the composition, the property, and the sensory evaluation of
protein-enriched spaghetti fortified with corn gluten meal (reg-
ular, water-, and water/ethanol-washed to reduce undesirable
flavor) were studied. (Wu et al., 1994). Spaghetti was prepared
by replacing either 5 or 10% semolina or farina with corn gluten
meal, a high-protein fraction from the wet milling of corn, to
increase the protein content of pasta. Spaghetti fortified with
corn gluten meal had a similar cooked weight and cooking loss
but was less firm compared with the control. The overall flavor
quality score of the spaghetti decreased with the increasing addi-
tions of either water-washed, water/ethanol-washed, or regular
corn gluten meal because of the higher intensity of the fer-
mented flavor. Spaghetti with acceptable overall flavor quality
was made with 5% water/ethanol-washed corn gluten meal. The
protein content of uncooked spaghetti increased by 23% (from
14.1 to 17.4%) and 29% (from 13.7 to 17.7%), respectively,
when semolina and farina were blended with 5% water/ethanol-
washed corn gluten meal.
Enrichment of Pasta with Resistant Starch
Resistant starch (RS), which is a natural component that is
present in many foods, has a role to play with regard to the
nutritional benefits of fiber fortification. It goes under many
definitions but, in essence, it is starch that is resistant to diges-
tion in the stomach and small intestine. Resistant starch (RS)
offers advantages over cellulosic sources of fiber such as bran. It
provides low water holding capacity thereby aiding processing;
it enhances the organoleptic qualities of food as a replacement
for, or complement to, natural fiber and it can be labelled as “di-
etary fiber.” A study by Sozer et al. (2007) focused on how the
addition of RS3 alters the characteristics of cooked spaghetti.
The cooking properties of spaghetti made from durum wheat,
enriched with bran and RS3 were determined. Calorimetry and
image analysis investigations were used to find out optimum
cooking times and effect of RS and bran on gelatinization de-
gree of starch. Several textural parameters such as hardness,
adhesiveness, cohesiveness, chewiness, and springiness were
evaluated from texture profile analysis (TPA) and compared
with the results of a sensory panel. Resistant starch is odorless,
and does not alter the organoleptic properties of the original
product. Uncooked spaghetti enriched with RS had the lowest
gelatinization temperature range and enthalpy since it looses
its crystallinity during processing. Also, while cooking, it was
found that RS spaghetti gelatinized at a faster rate than bran and
control spaghetti.
Resistant starch type III (RS3) was used to enrich spaghetti.
It was compared to bran and control spaghetti with respect
to cooking losses, water absorption, and thermal and textural
properties. Optimum cooking times were determined both by
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PASTA 17
differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) and image analysis.
Optimum cooking times were 12.5, 13, and 12 min for control,
resistant starch (RS) and bran containing spaghetti, respectively.
The onset and peak temperatures of gelatinization were found to
be 58C and 64C, respectively. Textural parameters were evalu-
ated by TA-XT2i texture analyzer and compared with the results
of a sensory panel. The hardness and adhesiveness values of bran
spaghetti were higher than the control and RS spaghetti. On the
other hand, the hardness values of control and RS spaghetti were
not so different. Cooking time-spaghetti type interactions were
found to be significant for TPA except chewiness. The effect
of cooking time and spaghetti type on hardness, adhesiveness,
cohesiveness, and chewiness during cooking was significant
(P <0.05). The results of TPA correlated well with the senso-
rial judgment of hardness, adhesiveness, and cohesiveness.
Amaranth Flour Supplemented Pasta
Amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat can be used to make
gluten-free products containing proteins with high biological
value. Amaranth is undergoing a renaissance due to its potential
as a nutrition food (Carlsson, 1996). Tosi et al. (1996) described
the use of amaranth in gluten-free products. A study was con-
ducted (Chillo et al., 2007) to compare the effects of two gluten
substitutes, carboxymethylcellulose sodium salt and pregela-
tinized corn starch on the quality of the gluten free spaghetti in
a base of amaranthus flour. It concluded that, it is possible to
assert that the gluten-free spaghetti with the amaranthus flour
can be manufactured, even though this requires the modification
of the traditional production process for example the addition
of gluten substitutes.
Manser (1981) conducted a study to compare the effect of
the addition of three flours—quinoa, broad bean, and chickpea,
used in equal percentage, on the quality of spaghetti in a base
of amaranthus flour. The quality of three gluten free spaghetti
typologies, made from amaranthus flour plus the addition of
quinoa (CQA), broad bean (CBA), or chickpea (CCA), was
investigated. The quality of the produced spaghetti was com-
pared to that of spaghetti made of durum semolina (CTRL).
Tests were run on the samples to determine breakage suscep-
tibility of dry spaghetti, the cooking resistance, instrumental
stickiness in cooking and over cooking, cooking loss, and some
sensorial attributes at the optimal cooking time. The spaghetti
obtained from amaranthus flour when compared to the CTRL
had equal or lower dry breakage susceptibility and cooking re-
sistance, higher cooking loss, and visibly lower instrumental
stickiness. However, this spaghetti did not demonstrate relevant
sensorial differences. The addition of quinoa, chickpea, or broad
bean flours has different effects on the quality of the amaran-
thus spaghetti. At dry state, the CCA spaghetti presented lower
breakage susceptibility, whereas the CQA and CBA spaghetti
did not show particular differences with respect to the CTRL.
The cooking loss was higher in the amaranthus spaghetti with re-
spect to the semolina spaghetti. However, the cooking resistance
of three examined spaghetti was equal or inferior in spaghetti
in the base amaranthus flour with respect to the CTRL, while
the instrumental stickiness has been visibly lower. The sensory
analysis did not demonstrate relevant differences among the
spaghetti samples. In conclusion, it was asserted that on the
whole the spaghetti of amaranthus whole meal flour enriched
with quinoa, chickpea, and broad bean flour demonstrated good
performances, especially in cooking.
A study was conducted on spaghetti containing buckwheat,
amaranth, and lupin flours by Rayas et al. (2006) with the objec-
tive of determining the in vitro protein digestibility, lysine con-
tent, cooking quality, and sensory attributes of multigrain pasta
made with durum flours partially replaced by amaranth, buck-
wheat, and lupin flours. Acceptable cooking quality parameters
were obtained in the spaghetti samples containing amaranth,
buckwheat, and lupin, as measured by cooked weight, cooking
loss, firmness, and total carbohydrate loss during cooking. The
composite-flour spaghetti had higher lysine content than the con-
trol durum wheat flours. Significant decreases in in-vitro protein
digestibility of spaghetti containing light or dark buckwheat and
amaranth flours were observed. The color, in vitro protein di-
gestibility, and lysine content of lupin-containing spaghetti sam-
ples were higher than in the other samples and the control. Thus
the study concluded that multigrain pasta having higher lysine
content than that of 100% durum wheat flour pasta, acceptable
cooking quality, and sensory attributes comparable to those of
durum wheat pasta can be produced using buckwheat, amaranth,
or lupin flour. An ideal level of substituted grain would optimize
nutritional quality without destroying functionality properties.
Whey Supplemented Pasta
Whey is a major by-product of dairy industries manufac-
turing cheese, casein, etc. Whey proteins are the best quality
proteins available. They have high PER of 3.6 and possess all
the essential amino acids (Sharma and Bhatia, 1999). A study
was conducted to find out the influence of whey protein con-
centrate, additives, and their combinations on the quality and
microstructure of vermicelli made from Indian T. Du r u m wheat
variety (Prabhasankar et al., 2006). The objective of this study
was to investigate the effect of additives and their combinations
on the physical, cooking, sensory, and microstructural charac-
teristics of WPC based vermicelli. The effect of whey protein
concentrate (5%, 7.5%, and 10%) and additives on the quality
of vermicelli made from Indian durum wheat was studied. The
results revealed that with increase in whey protein concentrate
(WPC) from 0% to 10%, cooked vermicelli weight increased
from 82.5 to 88 g/25 g, cooking loss increased from 6.0 to 8.4%,
L values indicating lightness increased (47.42–52.9); b values
indicating yellowness decreased (7.0–3.80), and shear force
decreased (66–45 g). Sensory evaluation of vermicelli with 5%,
7.5%, and 10% WPC showed that the addition of above 5% WPC
resulted in whitish color vermicelli with a mashy strand quality
and sticky mouthfeel. Studies on the effect of additives namely
ascorbic acid (0.01% and 0.015%), gluten (1.5% and 3.0%), and
glycerol monostearate (GMS) (0.25% and 0.5%) individually
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18 M. KRISHNAN AND P. PRABHASHANKAR
as well as in combination on the quality of vermicelli with
5% WPC indicated that a combination of 0.01% ascorbic acid,
3% gluten, and 0.5% GMS resulted in vermicelli having lower
cooking loss, creamy yellow color, firm, discrete strands, and
non-sticky mouthfeel. The protein content of vermicelli with
5% WPC and combination of additives was 16% as against
11.5% of control vermicelli. Scanning electron microscopy
study of control vermicelli, vermicelli with 5% WPC, and ver-
micelli with 5% WPC and combination of additives revealed
that vermicelli with 5% WPC showed a rough surface with a
prominent rupture while vermicelli with 5% WPC and combi-
nation of additives showed a continuous, rupture-free structure.
The study arrived at a conclusion that the addition of WPC
increased cooking loss and decreased overall quality of vermi-
celli. The adverse effect of WPC was evident in the case of
higher levels (7.5% and 10%). Use of combinations of additives
namely gluten, ascorbic acid, and GMS improved the quality
characteristics of vermicelli with 5% WPC. The micrographs
of control vermicelli showed a continuous protein film embed-
ded with starch granules whereas in the case of vermicelli with
5% WPC showed a distorted protein film. The micrographs of
vermicelli with 5% WPC and additive combinations showed a
continuous rupture free structure indicating that the combina-
tion of 0.01% ascorbic acid, 3% gluten, and 0.5% GMS imparted
strength to the protein network of vermicelli with 5% WPC.
CONCLUSION
In his whimsical pursuit to quell his fancy for satiety and
taste, man got caught up in a food habit, solely meant to please
his taste buds which took him far from the healthy aesthetic dis-
cernment. Anomalous and erroneous eating habits have led to
various health concerns. It is high time to shift from mere taste
and satiety oriented dieting to a healthy aesthetic food habit.
More and more of the world population is striving to embrace a
healthier lifestyle without affecting taste and convenience. Liter-
ature survey on supplemented and nutritionally enhanced pasta
reveals that very little research has been concentrated on pasta
supplemented with animal proteins and other animal based pas-
tas. A few reports have been made on whey protein concentrate,
ω-3 fatty acids, and egg proteins, whereas a large portion still
remains untouched. There is tremendous scope for exploiting
various animal products as health ingredients in health pasta. It
is a similar case with probiotics and synbiotics. A lot of work has
been done on prebiotics. But probiotics still remain unexploited
as a health ingredient in health pasta since they are heat sensitive,
but when coated with suitable coating agents or microencapsu-
lated within suitable materials or prebiotic fibers, they can be
protected from high temperature damage and serve the purpose
of an ideal health ingredient. Hence, there is great scope in this
direction as well. Herbal pasta is another need of the hour. If
the afore-mentioned lacunae can be bridged successfully, pasta,
one of the most popular of convenience foods, can undoubtedly
serve as “a dream food” for millions. Last, but not least, any
further improvements in pasta should necessarily be looked at
from the point of view of health as well. The future generation
pasta should be a health booster with a pleasing taste. Hence
it is the collective responsibility of the food technologists all
over the world to join hands to make sure that the prime motto
and emphasis behind the next generation functional foods, pasta
in particular, should be, “Health and convenience blended with
taste.”
FUTURE PROJECTIONS
Pasta is obviously one of the most popular convenience food
all over the globe. But it still is not popular among the Indian
population. Having had a detailed study about its health benefits
and its crucial role as a convenience food its inclusion in the
Indian diet seems to be rather inevitable. To popularize it, pasta
can be blended with our own regional flavors.
Pasta should never remain as a luxury convenience food of
the urban elite. It should also serve the purpose of the best
nutritional alternative to the common man. A lot of initiatives
need to be taken in this aspect. Hence an economic functional
pasta formulation has turned out to be the need of the hour. From
the point of view of health, as it has been discussed earlier, the
following suggestions should be seriously taken care of:
More and more animal sources need to be exploited as health
ingredients in pasta
Use of natural ingredients like herbs and medicinal plant ex-
tracts in pasta
Probiotic and synbiotic pasta
Nutraceutical pasta
Pasta with multiple functional properties and nutritional value
Molecular interactions during health based pasta processing
Safety and sensory aspects of health based ingredients in
pasta.
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... Fibres can be used to reduce digestion and absorption in the human small intestine and thus reduce the daily caloric intake [16]. Typical DF used in pasta are legume fibre, wheat bran insoluble fibre, inulin, psyllium fibre, olive powder, psyllium seed husk, oat β-glucans, Lentinus edodes β-glucans, resistant starch, common bean flour, and some nonstarch polysaccharides such as locust bean gum, xanthan gum, guar gum, and pectin ( Table 2). ...
... There is a plethora of reports on adding ingredients into a pasta formula without any evidence of health effects from animal or human studies [2][3][4]6,[13][14][15][16][17][18][19]. Rather than repeat the approach taken in these reviews, a summary of studies where durum only semolina has been substituted in part with an ingredient are listed in a table grouped into arbitrary categories: barley components, dietary fibre, fish products, herbs, inulin, legumes, oat, proteins, resistant starch, soy and vegetable (Table 2). ...
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... Most studies focus on pasta formulation, including flours from grains other than durum wheat (or their fractions) or other ingredients (including vegetables) to improve the nutritional profile of the pasta [11,[18][19][20][21][22][23]. Consumer interest in different types of pasta reflects an evolving market trend (see Figure 1) to obtain certain nutritional benefits deriving from the specific alternative raw materials used in pasta production. ...
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In search of a way to improve the nutritional profile of noodles, we prepared them with various mixtures of durum wheat flour and isolated plantain starch, and tested their proximal composition. Cooked noodles were assessed for in vitro starch digestibility, indigestible fraction content, and predicted glycemic index. The protein content declined with the addition of plantain starch. Both total starch (TS) level and the content of starch available for digestible enzymes (AS) decreased as the plantain starch level increased, a pattern that may be related to increased starch lixiviation during cooking of noodles containing plantain starch. There was an inverse pattern for resistant starch (RS). RS content in control (durum wheat flour) noodles was ≈50% lower than in the samples containing plantain starch. The soluble indigestible fraction (SIF) content in all samples was higher than the insoluble counterpart (IIF). The total indigestible fraction varied according to the wheat substitution level. Although the hydrolysis index (HI) and predicted glycemic index (pGI) of plantain starch noodles were moderate and decreased as the plantain starch proportion rose. These composite noodles exhibited higher indices than the control sample, a phenomenon that may also be dependent on the product physical structure. Results indicate that in spite of the increased starch digestion rate, plantain starch noodles are a better source of indigestible carbohydrates than pure wheat starch pasta. This might have dietetic applications.
Chapter
The global demand for more food and industrial raw material produced by agriculture prescribes the optimal utilization of every potential plant resource. Several Amaranthaceae species are C4-species and adapted to hot climates. Many Chenopodiaceae species are adapted to growth on dry and saline soils, and may be UV-B-tolerant. The plant species are considered as potential new crops for food and industrial raw materials.
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We conducted a double-blind cross-over study to compare the effects of whole flaxseed and sunflower seed, as part of the daily diet, on the lipid profile of postmenopausal women. During two 6-wk periods, thirty-eight mild, moderate, or severely (5.85–9.05 mmol/L) hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to one of the two regimens: flaxseed or sunflower seed. The subjects were provided with 38 g of either treatment in the forms of breads and muffins. The first treatment period lasted six weeks and was followed by a two-wk washout phase. After the washout phase, subjects switched regimens and treatments continued for another 6 weeks. Blood samples were collected at baseline, 6, 8, and 14th wk of the study periods. Significant (p<0.01) reductions in total cholesterol were observed for both treatments (6.9 and 5.5% for flaxseed and sunflower seed, respectively). However only flaxseed regimen was able to significantly (p<0.001) lower LDL-cholesterol (14.7%). Serum HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were unaffected by either of the treatments. Most interestingly, lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)], a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease, concentrations were significantly (p<0.05) lowered by the flaxseed treatment (7.4% compared to baseline values). Regression analyses showed the strongest association between age and both total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations. Among the dietary variables, total and soluble fiber intakes were negatively correlated with serum total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations. The cholesterol lowering effects of flaxseed and sunflower seed may be due to the activity of single or multiple components, including α-linolenic or linoleic acids, total and soluble fiber, and non-protein constituents present in these seeds.
Fatty acid analysis of oil from the basal, mid, and apical portions of individual flaxseeds (Linum usitatissimum L.) revealed that the portion nearest the embryo axis had more palmitic and linoleic acid and less oleic and linolenic acid than the remainder of the seed.Seed of flax selection F.P. 497 was dissected into three components, embryo axis, cotyledons, and combined testa and endosperm. The embryo axis tissue contributed only 4.4% of the total seed oil, but its fatty acid composition differed significantly from that of the attached cotyledons. The embryo axis contained 11.3% palmitic, 5.0% stearic, 10.6% oleic, 28.1% linoleic and 45.0% linolenic acid compared with 5.1, 4.7, 17.6, 14.0 and 58.6%, respectively, for the cotyledons.The testa and endosperm contained 21.6% of the total oil and had a high level of palmitic but a very low level of stearic acid. These two tissues significantly influence overall seed composition; therefore they must be considered in microsampling.
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The aim of this work was to study the structural factors of pasta products that are responsible for their low glucose and insulin responses and incomplete intestinal absorption of starch in healthy subjects. Native starch extracted from durum wheat in the laboratory was used as reference. Starch granules in pasta of different sizes, cooked for different time periods, were completely gelatinized, as proved by differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction. Compared to native starch, susceptibility to α-amylase hydrolysis was always increased by cooking. Complete solubilization into oligosaccharides was obtained in 24 h for enzyme concentrations higher than 600 nkat/ml with 17 mg starch per ml. Smaller pasta size and increased cooking time led to higher susceptibility. When pasta structure was destroyed by grinding, starch was solubilized completely in less than 30 min by α-amylase hydrolysis. Limited swelling of starch granules during cooking and encapsulation by the protein network were partly responsible for the slow amylolysis kinetics. An estimation of the susceptibility towards α-amylase of gelatinized starchy products is proposed, based on the minimal concentration of α-amylase necessary to obtain the solubilization of the easily degradable fraction.