Multi-scale characterization of pasta during cooking using microscopy and real-time magnetic resonance imaging
Journal article, 2014
Macroscopic properties of pasta, such as the texture, are formed during cooking by a complex interplay of water and heat with the structuring agents starch and gluten. The impact of the starch-to-gluten ratio on microstructure and water distribution in pasta was analyzed by a multi-scale approach combining magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and light microscopy. The cooking process and thus the water distribution was monitored non-invasively using 1H MRI in real-time with a temporal resolution of 45s. Our MRI set-up allowed following the water ingress by imaging the reduction of the uncooked core. The water ingress rate was neither dependent on pasta composition nor on the presence of salt in the cooking media (0.7% NaCl). Starch-rich samples showed a more homogeneous water distribution in the gelatinized zone, which was mirrored in a more homogeneous microstructure. In contrast, gluten-rich samples showed both a heterogeneous water distribution and microstructure. Thus, the gluten content affected local water content in the gelatinized zone but not the water ingress. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.