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From Harvest to Manufacture

 

 

A great deal of attention and care is taken in the behind the scene activities of pasta before it is served on a lavish dinner table. The journey begins from selection of best quality of wheat harvest and segregating them according to their chemical constituents and physical features. The mills are the next destination of the wheat where they are separated from the chaff and grinded to produce flour. From the milled flour, the durum wheat is the sole and basic ingredient for production of pasta whereas the common wheat is used to produce bakery and the confectionery goods.

 

 

 



The next stage involves the tedious process of mixing water with durum wheat flour. This kneading requires lot of expertise because during the process, the starch and the protein components mix evenly with water to produce gluten. Gluten is basically a protein net that brings together the starch-hydrated granules. The gluten brings the feature of elasticity to the dough. As a result of this procedure the mixture takes a unique appearance, different from a typical ball of dough. This homogeneous and stretchable dough is made possible only from the use of durum wheat flour and water. The Italians religiously maintain the authenticity of the production procedure and never dilute it with use of salt, preservatives or colouring. The smooth pasta dough then remains at the disposal of the creativity of the traditional pasta makers. The masters of Italian kitchen draw out different outlines of the pasta by spreading it out on drawplates or dies. To increase the longevity and preservative quality of the shaped out dough pieces, they are sent to a drying room. Here the extra water content of the product, nearly 30% of its weight, is extracted out.

The extrusion process requires different time management for different kinds of pasta product. This diligent effort involves fanning out the additional humidity through blowing of warm air. It is important to maintain the final humidity level precisely that is not more than 12.5%. Finally, the products are passed on to a cooler to bring them back to room temperature. The final stage involves packaging the conditioned and designed dough pieces in cardboard boxes or in transparent bags. Special care is taken during this phase so that the nutritional value of the product remains intact without any chance of external contamination. A label or statement informing the ingredients and other necessary details about the pasta is attached to the packets.