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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    General Mills Looks to Patent Gluten-Free Pasta Manufacturing Process

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      The processs General Mills hopes to patent delivers an improved process for a commercially manufacturable gluten-free or reduced-gluten pasta

    Caption: Photo: CC--Waferboard

    Celiac.com 12/26/2017 - Because gluten is vital to the texture, structure and stretch of pasta, replicating pasta without gluten is especially difficult. It's even harder for fresh pastas, and harder still for filled pastas, like ravioli and tortellini.

    In the case of pasta, the trick is to get the pasta to stretch around the filling. In traditional fresh pastas, the stretch comes from gluten in the wheat flour.

    General Mills thinks it has found an answer in a cold extrusion process of pasta dough made with a special blend of flours and gums. The company's process allows the successful manufacture of a variety of free-from, fresh pastas including ravioli, tortellini and agnolotti; products that were previously hard to make without gluten.

    The company is looking to patent its new method for manufacturing gluten-free filled pastas, such as ravioli, without any breaking or tearing during production. For this patent, the company chose a blend of rice flour and cornstarch had been chosen for a bland flavor profile, and relies on 2-3% xanthan gum for structure and flexibility. The process works best by including at least 10% fresh egg by by mass.

    The process General Mills hopes to patent delivers an improved process for a commercially manufacturable gluten-free or reduced-gluten pasta.

    Other parts of the General Mills process include: cold extruding the mixture into sheets of around 1-1.2mm thickness at 34 C or less; adding the filling; and shaping the pasta around it prior to cooling and packing. Early trials showed 32 C was best for plain pasta and 25.7 C for filled pasta. In all cases, the extruder pressure had to be 75 Bar or more.

    General Mills said its invention would help address the increased demand for variety in fresh, gluten-free and reduced-gluten products.

    Source: foodnavigator-usa.com

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    General Mills. We should be thanking them most every day just for their cereals. They are a true pioneer in making gluten free a more normalized experience for celiacs and wheat sensitive individuals. I for one applaud them! Several years ago I wrote to them and asked them to consider making my favorite - Cheerios - available to me as a celiac. Happy to say that it did come about.

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    This is wonderful news for most people wishing to avoid gluten. However, it might be problematic for those with celiac/leaky bowel syndrome. For "some" of those people egg and gums must be avoided. The gum is a stomach irritant and the egg a gluten cross-reactor. I am proud of GM taking the needed steps to produce gluten-free products. Isn't a pity that the FDA did not require controlled testing prior to the release of the "modern-dwarf wheat" (2009) with its exorbitant gluten content that resulted in misery for many thousands of people. Near Death by Gluten is not an idiom, but a sad truth my life.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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