In Italy, many believe that there are over 300 different kinds of pasta, with over 1,300 names. There’s even a 55-year-old “pasta law” that governs how you can make and manufacture. However, this doesn’t suggest that new technologies can’t be apply to this beloved food staple. Recent research shows that the life of pasta could extend by 30 days with Italian researchers who have developed a new packaging method that includes the addition of bioprotective probiotic microorganisms into the dough. It was reported that the Frontiers in Microbiology journal featured their freshly preserved pasta recipes.
In Italy, it is believe that there are more than 300 different varieties of pasta, with over 1,300 names. There’s even a 55-year-old “pasta law” regulating the making process. But, this does not suggest that new technologies can’t be apply to the beloved food staple. Recent research shows that fresh pasta’s shelf-life can now extend by 30 days. Thanks to Italian researchers who have developed a new packaging technique that involves the addition of probiotics that are bio-safe in the dough. The Frontiers in Microbiology journal featured their innovative preserved fresh pasta recipe.
How do I do it?
Fresh pasta can have a shelf-life of between 30 and 90 days if refrigerated. But, many things could be wrong, which could affect the safety and quality of the product. In the right conditions (like excessive moisture, certain bacteria could endure heat treatment and thrive. To help maintain freshness, chemical preservatives may be employ. But the choices to prolong the shelf-life for fresh pasta are limited to those who prefer pure. Hence “clean label” goods with no synthetic ingredients.
A new method to store pasta
A novel “clean-label” method for reducing spoiling concerns was invent by researchers at the National Research Council (CNR), the biggest research institution in Italy, working in collaboration with the University of Bari Aldo Moro and the private laboratory for chemical research, Food Safety Lab. To control microbial growth and improve the impermeability of packaging materials, they modified the mix of plastic sheets and the MAP gasses used in packaging. Researchers introduced an array of probiotic strains to stop the growth of bacteria.
The new method was tested using a thin, short spiral-shaped pasta called trofie. The standard procedure is to prepare and pack a single batch of fresh pasta. Another batch you can make by hand and then store within the test MAP. Trofie from the third fresh batch was mixing with bioprotective probiotic strains and placed in the testing container.
Combating food waste
De Leo mentions that the process she and her team have developing is mostly at an industrial level, providing 30 days of shelf-life compared to conventional products. “From the perspective of consumers, the main benefit to this particular product would be its longevity of the shelf and the convenience of store,” she said. “This is especially important because consumers are increasingly to limit consumption of food items and thus, keep as much food as possible in their homes.”
“Food loss and waste can impact greatly on the sustainability of the environment and ecological footprint in the food production system,” De Leo noted. “The use of cutting-edge technologies for food waste reduction, like those described in this research, can aid in tackling these issues when companies are prepared to embrace the challenge and be innovative.”