APR 19, 2017 3:01 AM PDT

Chemistry and Perfect Pasta


Pasta is a staple in the American diet and while some health experts advice cutting down on carbs, the truth is, people love pasta. It's a delightfully simple food, made with just eggs, water and flour, but there's still some chemistry behind getting it just right. The flour matters. Most pasta is made with durham wheat, and when that is ground it results in semolina flour that has larger particles, so there's not as much protein released. But there is protein in it, from the egg and within the semolina, tiny molecules of which are held together by the starch particles. It's the proteins that keep the starch from going all gummy.

There's some debate about whether the starch of the pasta needs a soluble fat added to keep the clumps away. Adding oil to the boiling water is what some chefs do, but in reality since the oil is heavier than water and denser, it doesn't make much of a difference. Salt is good to add since it give a bit of flavor, semolina being one of the more bland forms of wheat. Finally, save a bit of the starchy water to add as an emulsifier and to balance out the acid in any tomato sauce. Mangia!
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
APR 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 12, 2020
Three New Crew Members Arrive at the International Space Station
The International Space Station received three new crew members this past week following extensive pre-quarantine measur ...
APR 30, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 30, 2020
NASA's Laser Satellites Help Scientists Quantify Sea Ice Loss
Global climate change is melting Earth’s ice, and a recent study from NASA details how the polar ice sheets have c ...
MAY 04, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 04, 2020
A Capuchin Monkey's Curiosity Can Sometimes Cloud its Judgement
Capuchin monkeys are highly intelligent animals, but they’re also rather curious. They’ve adapted to communi ...
MAY 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 10, 2020
What Exactly Are Star Clusters?
When you think of stellar systems, you might be inclined to think of a system like our own with just one star, or perhap ...
MAY 28, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 28, 2020
Expandable Resin Solves the Size Problem of 3D Printing
One of the current limitations of using a 3D printer is the size of the product. For someone to print a large part, they ...
JUN 05, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JUN 05, 2020
New Solid-State Battery Bids Farewell to Life-Span Limiting Dendrites
A team of Samsung-sponsored researchers reported in a Nature article an innovative design of solid-state batteries  ...
Loading Comments...