Enriched pasta boosts nutritional quality without reducing sensory attributes: Study

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wheat

Pasta enriched with resistant starch may offer an important improvement in nutritional quality without reducing sensory characteristics or consumer acceptance, according to new research.

The study, published in LWT - Food Science and Technology​, evaluated the impact of incorporating resistant starch type II, resistant starch type IV and oat hull bran on the sensory attributes of pasta, finding that both types of resistant starch evaluated did alter the sensory acceptance of the enriched pasta.

“Resistant starch type II and resistant starch type IV addition into pasta recipes did not modify overall acceptability of these products by consumers,”​ said the authors, led by Alberto Edel León from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba-CONICET, Argentina.

“On the other hand, oat hull bran addition generates important changes in sensory attributes,”​ they added.

Functional and tasty?

The authors explained that the interest in developing functional foods is thriving, driven largely by the market potential for foods that can improve the health and wellbeing of consumers.

They noted that health authorities worldwide recommend a decrease in the consumption of animal fats and proteins and an increase of cereal intake, which is an important source of dietary fibre.

“Although pasta is traditionally manufactured using only durum wheat flour, it is possible to use non-durum wheat flour and other ingredients to produce specifically-labelled blended pasta,”​ said the authors.

They explained that it is also feasible to incorporate dietary fibre ingredients into pasta, which may increase its nutritional value compared to conventional pasta.

However they noted that the development of enriched pasta with higher dietary fibre content must be structurally and sensorially acceptable

In fibre-enriched pasta, much research has been done in order to understand how different types of fibres affect the arrangement of components in pasta structure.

“The study of how different types of fibre affect some nutritional attributes of pasta is as important as the need to determine if the addition of fibre alters the sensory properties of pasta significantly,”​ said the authors.

Study details

The authors reported no significant differences between resistant starch type II and resistant starch type IV samples in any parameter.

They observed that control samples presented the highest values for firmness, chewiness and elasticity, and the lowest values for surface stickiness, whilst oat hull bran showed the lowest values in firmness, chewiness and elasticity and the highest values in surface stickiness.

“Overall acceptability showed a high score for control sample and the lowest score for oat hull bran sample; no differences were observed between RSII and RSIV samples,”​ said Edel León and colleagues.

The authors concluded that by using insoluble fibre it is possible to enhance the nutritional quality of pasta, without affecting its sensory properties negatively. They noted that resistant starch is odourless, and does not considerably alter the organoleptic properties of the original product.

They noted that resistant starch enriched pasta also presented “an important improvement in nutritional quality”​ with a significant reduction of the estimated glycemic index and a slow release of maltose.

Source: LWT - Food Science and Technology
Volume 44, Issue 6​, Pages 1429-1434, doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2011.02.002
“Sensory and nutritional attributes of fibre-enriched pasta”
Authors: M.C. Bustos, G.T. Perez, A.E. León

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