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Luisito Virtucio, Pavan New Products Development Manager, presents a study on the effect of Acrylaway on extruded snack pellets.

In collaboration with Novozymes A/S from Denmark, a study on the effect of Acrylaway on extruded snack pellets have been undertaken using a potato based formulation and a coldextrusion process with an F-model extruder as well as a multicereal based formulation and a extrusion-cooking process with a G-model extruder. Acrylaway is a commercial asparaginase of Novozymes S/A for food applications that can effectively reduce acrylamide in dough-based products... read the article

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GHENT, BELGIUM - 4th-5th Oct. 2010. "Het Pand" - Ghent University.

The 5th consecutive Practical Short Course is presented as a crash course for new plant personel. It offers a great opportunity for those who are experienced to meet experts in the field and discuss their current problems to enhance their plant operations. A new study of the Flexibility in Raw Materials and Shaping of Pellet Snacks Technology applied to novelty no fat Snacks Manufacturing will be presented by our R&D director, Mr.Luciano Mondardini. The main topics of these study will be:

  • raw materials that can be used for pellet manufacturing
  • sheeted  pellets 
  • speciality pellets:3D,Pierced.
  • baked pellets
  • fried pellets
  • quality aspects

This study will serve as a useful reference for processors, product formulators, chemists and technicians as well as business managers familiar with extrusion, nutrition, snack food processing, extruded snacks and tortilla chips. Request the full presentation to:


ASMP Symposium– Cozia Hotel.

The process for the production of non traditional pasta products is very similar to that of the traditional pasta aside from few cases by which it is necessary to pre-treatment of the raw materials to provoke the gluten-effect. This can be obtained through the hydro-thermal treatment.
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EXTRUDED POTATO PELLETS - The effects of raw materials and process parameters on product quality

By L. Virtucio - Innovative Food Products Manager - R&D

A study of the behaviour of extruded potato based pellets was conducted to evaluate the impact of the primary ingredients such as potato granules, potato flakes and potato starch on the quality of the fried potato pellets. The effect of other starches such as corn starch, tapioca starch and wheat starch has been compared to potato starch. Similarly, process parameters such as the screw speed, extrusion temperatures and the die discharge area have been observed to quantify their effects on the pellets as well as on the fried product's qualities particularly deformation. Request the full presentation to:


The Pavan Group, leading corporation in the engineering and construction of machinery and plants for the food industry, has recently obtained the certification "COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE" from EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management). Pavan, constantly receptive to the market dynamics and to the new scenarios in which an enterprise is called to compete, has successfully started  a project for the adoption of one "Excellence Model" derived from concepts of Total Quality Management. These models lead the corporation towards universally recognised levels of excellence.

In Pavan's specific case, the adopted model has brought immediate benefits such as increase of the organisational efficiency and of the production performance, synergic management of the corporate processes and improved specialisation of the human resources. Of particular importance were three sub-projects in the areas of Customer Service, Sales and Engineering.

This award, achieved ten years after Pavan established its Quality Management System in compliance with ISO9000 Standards, is a further confirmation and a clear proof of Pavan commitment and of the investments made by Pavan in order to define a corporate model based on organisational quality,  in accordance with those models characterising world leading corporations.


Pasta, one of the most consumed foods in the whole world, continues its evolution as a product as well as the way it is consumed. With the continuous flow of migration of various people to different countries, the knowledge of different habits including that of eating continues to spread. Various people consume various foods according to the availability of the raw materials in their respective countries. Similarly, the availability of the raw materials most of the time is conditioned by various factors such as the climatic conditions, quality of the soil, availability of arable lands and the socio-political-economic condition of the country. Among the most diffused foods are the different kinds of pasta. But pastas are not equal to all countries; there is the Italian pasta, the oriental pasta known also as noodles and other types of pasta of various raw materials. The Italian pastas as they are known, are produced with durum semolina. The other pastas available in Europe, particularly in the northern hemisphere, are made with soft wheat flour. The pastas in the Orient (most of Asian countries) are prevalently made of soft wheat but are processed in a different way from the pastas available in the Occident (Europe and the Americas). Pastas of other raw materials such as buckwheat (soba), rice flour (beehoon) and green mungbean starch (tanghoon) also exist. The desire to increase the nutritional value of food and also to face and find solutions to the diffusion of various allergies and diseases such as the celiac disease have also helped the development of the new types of pasta as for example pasta made from "kamut", pasta made of farro and gluten-free pasta particularly those without gliadin. These raw materials used for the latter are corn, quinoa, cassava, rice and potato.
Celiac disease is a digestive illness of the human system in which the small intestine is damaged and interferes in the absorption of the nourishments from food. The people that suffer from this illness have the intolerance to the gluten because their immunitary system reacts to it thus damaging the villi.

Kamut® pasta
Kamut® (Triticum turgidum spp turanicum) is the trademark of the ancient wheat and distant relative of the hard wheat (Triticum durum) cultivated thousand years ago. This wheat possesses a rich taste similar to butter, easily digestible, and it contains from 20-40% more proteins in comparison to the hard wheat. In comparison to the normal wheat (Triticum aestivum), it contains higher mineral values such as magnesium and zinc. Besides it contains the natural antioxidant selenium and 30% more of vitamin E. For many persons that suffer allergies from normal wheat and hard wheat, Kamut® has played a unique role because it can be employed as a substitute according to of the results of the studies conducted by the group of Dr. Elleen Yoder (Ph. D), president of the International Food Allergy Association. For the meantime, there has not been any studies made on this grain regarding gluten intolerance, thus no recommendations can be given.

Pasta made of Farro

The farro or spelt (Triticum spelta) is far another elderly cousin of the modern wheat (Triticum aestivum) and known also as the first grain cultivated by the first farmers in the remote year 5000 BC. The Romans has called it "Farrum" and it can be tracked down in the Mesopotamia. This grain has a higher protein and fibre content in comparison to the normal wheat (see chart 1). Besides it has a high content of B vitamins, particularly Riboflavin (Vitamins B2), necessary for the production of energy inside the cells as well as the reduction of the risks against arteriosclerosis. It is also a good source of niacin that has a multitude of benefits for the reduction of the cardiovascular risks, thus a lot of people sensitive to the gluten have included this pasta in their diets.

Corn pasta
Corn (Zea mays) is a very widely diffused grain in the world. The biggest part of the cultivation is in the USA, China and Brazil that together amounts to around 73% of the total world production equivalent to around 456 million tons. The common utilitarian classification of the corn is based on the characteristics of the endosperm distinguishable in 5 types:
1. Pop - it consists of small spherical grains with the soft starchy centre and hard endosperm layer. The moisture trapped in the floury part expands during heating and provokes a burst with a particular noise similar to the burst of a petard.
2. Flint (hard) - very similar to the pop one but with bigger grains. They grow where the tolerance to the cold is necessary or where the storage and the condition for the germination are precarious. It amounts to around 14% of the commercial production.
3. Flour (bland) - this type of corn remains still the preferred one for the direct human consumption as in the bread (tortilla), ravioli (tamale) and drinks (atole).
4. Dent (toothed) - more cultivated variety equal to around 73% of the commercial production used as foods and for the production industrial type starch, syrup, oil and alcohol.
5. Sweet - variety where the endosperm is primarily composed of soluble sugars, few starches and an intermediary form of a polymer of called sugar phytoglycogen. The commercial production is very low (<1%) but it has a very high value.

To get good pasta from corn, it is necessary to have the knowledge of the physico-chemical and rheological properties of the flour considering that this raw material is deprive of gluten present in wheat. During the process of pastification, Pavan SpA has developed a continuous process in which a controlled hydrothermal treatment is applied to the dough to provoke the formation of a network similar to that of gluten. Without this network, it is impossible to extrude the dough that will give the desired form that will maintain during the following phase of the process up to the cooking of the dry pasta.

Rice pasta
Rice (Oryza sativa) is another grain of which the consumption is largely diffused in the world. The greater part of this grain is cultivated in Asia by which the evidences of first cultivation can be traced back in the distant 4000 B.C. near the area of Korat in Thailand. There are two principal varieties of rice:
The indica type cultivated in the tropical and subtropical countries as India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Philippines, Indonesia Vietnam and southern China and
2) The japonica type cultivated in the countries with temperate climate as Japan, Portugal, Spain, Russia, France and Italy.
Rice pasta also known as rice vermicelli (beehoon, bihun, maifun, bahn hoi, sen mee) is largely consumed in Asian countries at homes and in the restaurants. Lately, it is consumed in Europe as an alternative to the wheat pasta thanks to its high digestibility, neutral taste and the absence of gluten. As in the case of corn, the dough of this raw material has the necessity of a hydrothermal treatment during the process of pastificazione.

Gluten-free Pasta
The gluten-free pastas are pastas of high nutritional content destined to the families where a member or members suffer the intolerance to the gluten (celiac disease). The raw materials used for this type of pasta are mixtures of flours free of gluten as rice, corn, oat, soy and sources of proteins as concentrate or isolated protein of soy, milk whey and eggs. Apart the nutritional value, they need to have the organoleptic properties comparable to the normal pasta. This way all the members of the families can appreciate the dish of these pastas avoiding the preparation of another different meal that can let the sick feel different if not excluded by the rest of the family during meals.

Low carbohydrates (low-carb) pasta
To fight the obesity and to be able to maintain a good form-weight, a diet based on a smaller consumption of the carbohydrates has been developed by Dr. Robert Atkins (Atkins’ diet). This diet consists in the higher consumption of the products rich in proteins, fibres, and fat and the reduction or elimination of the foods rich in carbohydrates. The diet works in two ways:
1. Considering that the carbohydrates are the first form of energy that is burnt in the body, it goes into ketosis and learns to burn the fats as energy because of the absence of carbohydrates to use. Ketosis is a process when there are no more glycogen reserves in the liver so the body breaks the muscular mass to create the energy necessary for the brain functions.
2. Since the carbohydrates are digested faster in comparison to the proteins and fats, a person will soon feel the hunger after having consumed a food rich in carbohydrates or sugars. Eating only proteins, one will feel more satiated for a long time and won't have the desire to eat the snacks in-between meals avoiding the food in excess that the body will put apart in form of fats as a reserve.
For these types of pasta, the raw materials that are commonly employed are the by-products of soy (Glycine max) such as defatted flours, soy protein concentrates and isolates, wheat gluten, whey, eggs, bean and pulse flours, alimentary fibres together with a small quantity of hard wheat or durum semolina.

Pasta made of quinoa
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a plant that grows in the highland of the Andes in the zones of Peru and Bolivia. There are different types of this plant in which the colour of the seeds varies from brown to clear cream. The flour obtained from these seeds has a particular taste very similar to that of the pumpkins’ seeds. Before the consumption or transformation of the seeds, a very accurate washing is necessary to remove the saponin present that gives a very bitter aftertaste. This raw material is highly digestible and its nutritional value is very interesting as can be seen in the Table 2.

As what has been illustrated above, other largely diffused raw materials different from wheat can be employed with success in the production of pasta. The pastas produced with them offer nutritional benefits and in other cases solution to the allergies to wheat and intolerances to the gluten. The organoleptic properties, including the quantity of solids released in cooking water, is very much comparable to the traditional pasta. With the continuous increase of the world population and the reduction of the arable lands, the transformation of other raw materials different from wheat into pasta will also have a positive effect in facing the requirements in the world food level for the immediate future. In this way Pavan SpA, as one of the world leaders in the construction and supply of machineries for food production, through research and development, brings a contribution in finding possible solutions to the global problem regarding hunger and nutrition.

Ing. Luisito Virtucio
Pavan SpA
Research and Development
New Products Development Manager

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