Demand for Pasta Education Continues at NCI’s Third Pasta Course in 2009

July 23, 2009

Demand for Pasta Education Continues at NCI’s Third Pasta Course in 2009

Fargo, N.D., USA – Pasta manufacturers learned more about controlling the variables in making Italian-style pasta this week at Northern Crops Institute (NCI). They attended the Pasta: Raw Materials and Processing Technology Short Course from July 20-24.   

The twenty-one participants were from large and small pasta companies in Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico and U.S.  Several participants were sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates. Several participants were sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates.

“This course is the third pasta manufacturing course NCI offered this summer,” says Brian Sorenson, Director of Northern Crops Institute, “which is a good indication of the strength of the pasta industry.  The course allows us to showcase the quality of the durum of this region.  The demand for the course also indicates that NCI is viewed as a organization that provides current and valuable information on durum, semolina and the production of pasta.”

“Our pasta courses continue to evolve to meet the needs of the industry,” Sorenson continues.  “This year, we expanded our courses to include information on fresh frozen and canned pasta, and we incorporated the new laminated noodle and ravioli machine to allow us to focus on a wider spectrum of pasta products.”

Hands-on pasta processing and cooking quality evaluations supplement course lectures.  Course faculty also demonstrate canned and fresh pasta processing.  David Tressler, vice president of operations, hosted a tour at Dakota Growers Pasta Company, Carrington, N.D., to finish out the week’s instruction.

Course topics include durum variety development, quality evaluation, durum milling and semolina quality, durum wheat and semolina quality tests, commercial pasta production, impact of protein and starch on pasta quality, pasta die design, pasta drying technology, extrusion equipment, quality assurance, causes and solutions of pasta defects, whole grains update, fresh and frozen pasta technology, world durum outlook, and canned pasta technology. 

Speakers at the course were Mehmet Tulbek, Ph.D., NCI Technical Director; Gabriele Cannata, De Mari Dies USA; Michael Ehr, Buhler; Elias Elias, Ph.D., durum wheat breeder, North Dakota State University; Bruno Giberti, Axor America; Radwan Ibrahim, Ph.D., Dakota Growers Pasta Company; Thunyaporn Jeradechachai, NCI Crop Quality Specialist; Rilie Morgan, NCI Processing Specialist; Jim Nelson, Faribault Foods; and Erica Olson, North Dakota Wheat Commission.

North Dakota and Montana rank first and second, respectively, in the production of U.S. northern durum. U.S. Wheat Associates reports the five largest importers of U.S. durum from June 2008 to May 2009 were Italy, Nigeria, Algeria, Venezuela and Costa Rica.

Northern Crops Institute supports regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern-grown crops.