NCI Pasta Manufacturing Short Course Begins Its 26th Year

April 15, 2010

NCI Pasta Manufacturing Short Course Begins Its 26th Year

For Immediate Release

Fargo, N.D., USA -- Twenty participants from United States and Japan are attending the Pasta Production and Technology Short Course that runs from April 13 to 15 at Northern Crops Institute (NCI), Fargo, N.D. 

"We have offered this course every year since 1984, and of the participants in this year’s course, most of them come from companies that have been represented at the course in the past," says NCI Director Brian Sorenson.  "Food companies see this course as a good opportunity to increase their personnel's understanding of durum and pasta quality," Sorenson says.
"The pasta program that we offer each spring is an excellent time for us to work with the pasta industry," Sorenson continues.  "It is very important that we help food processors understand the quality of the durum wheat that we produce in our region, as well as how best to utilize it for success in their companies, because that in turn results in success for our producers," Sorenson concludes. 
Short course topics include durum varieties, quality evaluation, durum milling and semolina quality, wheat quality tests, functional and alternative pasta ingredients, semolina physical and rheological tests, commercial pasta production, impact of protein and starch on pasta quality, state of the industry, pasta die design, pasta drying technology, extrusion equipment, pasta color and cooking evaluation, quality assurance, specialty pasta technology, whole grains in pasta, and causes and solutions of pasta defects. 

In addition to lectures, course participants have an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the pilot-scale pasta lab where they directly apply what they are learning to the pasta extrusion process. The class also toured Philadelphia Macaroni Company and North Dakota State Mill, Grand Forks, N.D.

John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director, coordinates the short course.  Course faculty and technicians are: Rachel Brudvik, NCI Food Technologist; Michael Ehr, Buhler, Inc.;  Radwan Ibrahim, Ph.D., Dakota Growers Pasta Company; Thunyaporn Jeradechachai, NCI Crop Quality Specialist; Dan Maldari, D. Maldari & Sons; Frank Manthey, Ph.D., NDSU Professor of Plant Sciences;  Rilie Morgan, NCI Processing Specialist; Brian Sorenson, NCI Director; Stan Stancyk, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences;  and Mehmet Tulbek, Ph.D., NCI Technical Director.

A second pasta short course, Pasta: Raw Materials and Processing Technology, will be offered July 12-16, 2010.
The USDA Prospective Plantings Report estimates that 2.22 million acres will be planted to durum in 2010, down 13 percent from 2009. Durum planting in North Dakota is expected to total 1.5 million acres, which is down 9 percent from last year, and Montana growers plan to plant 500,000 acres of durum compared to 570,000 acres in 2009.
According the U.S. Wheat Associates commercial sales report of April 1, 2010, the five largest importers of U.S. durum in 2009/10 are EU, Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco, and Venezuela.
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.