Bran particle size influence on pasta microstructure, water distribution and sensory properties
Journal article, 2015
Whole-wheat pasta offers improved nutritional value compared to regular pasta, but lacks appeal to many consumers due to its negative organoleptic properties, such as texture and taste. Various approaches have been studied to improve these properties in whole-wheat products. Optimizing bran particle size showed its potential in noodles, but studies of its effects in pasta are scarce. Therefore, we produced spaghetti enriched with bran fractions similar in chemical composition, but with varying median particle sizes of 90, 160, 370 and 440 µm. The effect of bran particles and their median size on dried and cooked pasta was studied by light microscopy and 3D 1H magnetic resonance imaging. In general, bran particle size did not influence the macrostructure in cooked spaghetti. However larger bran particles created a more heterogeneous microstructure in contrast to smaller particles and affected starch granule swelling. Sensory analysis indicated a preference for pasta containing smaller particles. Our results give new insight into the microstructural features responsible for the negative consumer appeal, and could be used to guide future efforts in designing improved pasta formulations.