Pasta Course at Northern Crops Institute Attracts Participants from Five Nations

Fargo, N.D., USA -- Thirty-one pasta manufacturers from the U.S., Canada, Guatemala, Iran, and Nigeria attended the Pasta Production and Technology Short Course that was held April 16-18 at Northern Crops Institute. 

This course is designed to showcase the high quality durum wheat that is produced in the four-state region of North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota.  NCI has offered this course annually since 1984.

Lectures were supplemented with hands-on activities in the laboratories and pilot-scale pasta processing, followed by a cooking exercise to evaluate the final product. Quality tests employed in the evaluation of raw materials (wheat, semolina, flour) and finished products were also demonstrated.

Short course lecture topics included 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, pasta die design, pasta drying technology, equipment options for pasta extrusion, pasta color and cooking evaluation, quality assurance and control, specialty pasta technology, food safety and HACCP programs, and causes and solutions of pasta defects. 

Group activities included an exercise in identifying pasta defects and processing causes, and a field trip to the Philadelphia Macaroni Company, Grand Forks, N.D.

Course speakers and technicians were: Gabriele Cannata, De Mari Pasta Dies USA; Rachel Carlson, NCI Food Technologist; Michael Ehr, Pasta & Extrusion Systems, Buhler, Inc.; Alexis Freier, R & D/Quality Control, Dakota Growers Pasta Company; Natsuki Fujiwara, NCI Food Technologist; David Hahn, Ph.D., NCI Director of Technical Services & Business Development; Alyssa Hicks, NCI Milling Specialist; Thunyaporn Naggie Jeradechachai, NCI Crop Quality Specialist; Al Lucia, Axor America, Inc.; Frank Manthey, Ph.D., NDSU Durum Wheat Quality and Pasta Processing Laboratory; Rilie Morgan, NCI Processing Specialist; Stan Stancyk, NDSU Dept. of Plant Sciences; and Mark Weber, NCI Director.

Northern Crops Institute (NCI) 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.  NCI is funded by the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and commodity groups in those states and Montana.