DOI: 10.3390/su16010209 ISSN: 2071-1050

Application of Plant Ingredients for Improving Sustainability of Fresh Pasta

Jana Zahorec, Dragana Šoronja-Simović, Jovana Petrović, Zita Šereš, Meta Sterniša, Antun Jozinović, Drago Šubarić, Đurđica Ačkar, Jurislav Babić, Sonja Smole Možina
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Pasta is a low-cost and easy-to-prepare food product. By using fresh pasta, the drying process is omitted, which represents significant energy and financial savings, but the durability of such pasta is very limited. The addition of plant materials (parsley, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, nettle, spinach, and carob) to the dough affects the microbiological stability and thus the durability of the fresh pasta, which can then be stored longer in the refrigerator without the need to freeze the product. With significant energy savings due to the omission of the drying and freezing processes, extending the shelf life of the pasta will contribute to the reduction of food waste and thus contribute to a more sustainable production system. The aim of this work was to examine the possibility of producing fresh pasta with the addition of plant materials from the perspectives of technological and sensory quality, as well as microbiological composition. The incorporation of plant materials (10 g/100 g) decreased water absorption and had no effect on optimal cooking time. Thyme-enriched pasta had significantly lower (p < 0.05) cooking loss (3.34%) than the control sample (4.12%). In cinnamon-, spinach-, and parsley-enriched pasta, an appealing colour and pleasant smell and taste were achieved. Cinnamon and carob proved to have the most favourable effect on the microbiological quality (reduction in mesophilic, Enterobacteriaceae, and yeast counts), followed by spinach (reduction in mould count). For cinnamon-enriched pasta, the best technological (optimal cooking time of 3.23 min; cooking loss of 4.41%; firmness of 531.94 g) and sensory and microbiological quality were achieved; thus, cinnamon proved to be the preferred natural preservative for the production of enriched pasta.

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