A team of scientists from the National Research Council spent months developing the perfect technique to extend the shelf life of pasta.
Real Italian pasta can take a lot of effort to knead, shape and cook until it’s perfect al dente. This paste is sold in stores in vacuum-packed fresh, not dried form. Fresh homemade pasta lasts only two to three days, while industrial pasta currently has a shelf life of 30 to 90 days.
No wonder the Italian researchers were desperate to extend the shelf life before the product had to be thrown away. The solution includes storing pasta in the perfect atmosphere to prevent bacterial growth and adding probiotics to the flour. A new process that does not use artificial ingredients changes the ratio of MAP gases and pasta packaging plastic film combinations to better control bacterial growth.
The scientists tested their method on short, thin, twisted pasta called trophies and compared it to regular packaging. The experiment showed that the new method allows fresh pasta to be stored for up to 120 days.
The study follows previous work by scientists that suggest pizza may protect against disease and death, and that people’s waistlines shrink when they eat more fresh pasta.
Previously, a robot chef was created at the University of Cambridge to “test” food for saltiness at different stages of the chewing process — just like people do.