Farfalle, macaroni or penny – pasta comes in all possible variations. However, popular pasta takes up more space in packaging when it comes in the form of a bow or clam instead of a noodle plate. As a result, they consume more packaging material and transport energy. A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has now succeeded in producing flat noodles that bend to different sizes when cooked. Most importantly: The noodles produced in this way taste like traditional ones and have the same texture. They also look like traditionally manufactured products.
First, Yeo and his team tested their method on a silicon model, then they got into business: they prepared a simple pasta dough from durum wheat semolina and water, of which they were small, flat noodles about two millimeters. Cut high. Using a specially made mold, they pressed small fur into flat pasta flour. These markings ensured that the noodles were distorted in boiling water: the indented side of the noodles was reduced to the smooth side. Since gluten is contained in the molecules of flour in heat and starch gels, noodles retain their shape even after cooking.
By cleverly dropping the notches, scientists were able to influence the size of their pasta in boiling water. Parallel notches form a spiral shape, as in the fusilli. Conical shapes are made when sheets of raw pasta are given radial turquoise. The team also created intricate three-dimensional figures such as saddles, rings or waves in the laboratory kitchen. Tao tested the noodles on his next hiking holiday from the laboratory. Their conclusion: Flat noodles took up less space in their bags, did not break on their trips, and could also be prepared on a camp stove without any problems.
With the help of new technology, future noodles can be packed, transported and stored in a space-saving manner. Flat pasta packaging can take up to 60 percent less space than a traditional crop. It is good for the environment. In addition, flat noodles can reduce energy consumption in home kitchens: they cook faster than previously prepared noodles, so that cooking time is shorter. In Italy, it is estimated that one percent of greenhouse gases alone are caused by cooking pasta.