Pasta is serious business in Italy, and there are reportedly more than 300 specific shapes known by 1,300 names. There is even a 55-year-old “pasta law” that governs its production and manufacture. But that doesn’t mean the beloved food product is devoid of innovation.
Now, Italian researchers have developed a new expansion process expiration date of fresh pasta for 30 days using a new packaging process that also involves applying bioprotective probiotic cultures to the dough. They published this new recipe in the magazine for better preservation of fresh pasta Frontiers in Microbiology.
The problem with fresh pasta
Most fresh pasta sold in stores today is made through industrial process which involves the heat treatment of the product, which is essentially equivalent to the pasteurization of pasta. Once the pasta is ready, it is stored in so-called modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), which involves removing oxygen and replacing it with other gases inside the packaging, which consists of polyethylene film.
When stored in the refrigerator, fresh pasta is stored for 30 to 90 days. However, many things can go wrong, compromising the quality of the pasta and even the safety of the product. Some bacteria can survive heat treatment and grow in the right conditions, such as too much moisture.
Sometimes chemical preservatives are also used to help preserve freshness. However, for consumers who prefer natural, “clean” products without artificial or synthetic ingredients, options for extending the shelf life of fresh pasta are limited.
We are developing a new way of storing pasta
Researchers from the National Research Council (CNR), the largest public research institution in Italy, together with the University of Bari Aldo Moro and in collaboration with the private chemical laboratory Food Safety Lab, have developed a new “clean label” method to minimize spoilage problems. First, they changed the MAP ratio of the gases and the combination of plastic films used in the packaging to better control microbial growth and impermeability. Finally, they added several strains of the probiotic mixture to inhibit bacterial growth.
The scientists then tested the new protocol using short, thin, twisted pasta called trofie. One batch of fresh pasta was produced and packaged in the traditional way. The second set was produced conventionally but stored in an experimental MAP. They added bioprotective probiotic strains to a third set of fresh trophies, which were then stored in experimental packaging.
Then the scientists waited.
A few months later – and with high-tech techniques such as gene sequencing to identify the microbial composition and mass spectrometry to profile volatile organic compounds— they found that Trofie pasta treated with antimicrobial bioprotective probiotics in an experimental MAP had the best shelf life of the three experiments.
“The results demonstrate that MAP together with spray-dried probiotic bioprotective cultures acted in a synergistic manner to control microbes. corruption of fresh pasta during refrigerated storage,” said Dr. Francesca De Lea, researcher at the Institute of Biomembranes, Bioenergy and Molecular Biotechnology at the CNR.
Fighting food waste
De Leo said the technique her team developed could be implemented on an industrial scale, adding 30 days of shelf life compared to conventional products.
“From the consumer’s point of view, the long shelf life and ease of storage are the undoubted advantages of these products,” she said. “This may be especially important given that consumers are increasingly inclined to reduce the frequency of food shopping and, accordingly, store as much as possible at home.”
The value of research goes beyond finding the best storage method pasta longer, she added, helping to reduce food waste. The World Food Program estimates that about a third of all food produced each year is wasted or lost before it can be consumed.
“Food waste and loss have a major impact on the environmental and ecological sustainability of the food system,” De Leo noted. “Adopting innovative technological solutions to prevent food waste, such as those described in this study, can help address these challenges if companies are willing to take on the challenge and innovate.”
Extending the shelf life of fresh pasta using modified atmosphere packaging and bioprotective cultures, Frontiers in Microbiology (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.1003437
Citation: Researchers find new recipe to extend shelf life of fresh pasta by 30 days (November 2, 2022) Retrieved November 2, 2022, from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-recipe-shelf-life-fresh -pasta. html
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https://phys.org/news/2022-11-recipe-shelf-life-fresh-pasta.html Researchers have found a new recipe for extending the shelf life of fresh pasta by 30 days