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The differences between industrial pasta and artisan pasta concern the entire pasta processing cycle, from the selection of the wheat to the packaging phase, and have relevance both in the taste, flavour and texture of the pasta and in its nutritional properties.

On the selection and choice of wheat, we can confirm that it is the first relevant element for the quality of a pasta; both its origin and the cultivation method and wheat varieties used are important:

the origin protects more on the absence of chemical elements (fertilisers, herbicides) that even in conventional farming, i.e. not organic, are regulated differently in the various countries of the world and it is well known that Italy is among the countries where the use of these elements, provided they are allowed, is much more rigid and controlled than in other countries such as America and Canada, major wheat producers;
the way durum wheat is grown, whether conventionally or organically, ensures that the semolina used does not contain residues of glyphosate and other chemical elements that certainly do not contribute to human wellbeing
the variety of durum wheat used, an ancient or modern variety, influences the taste, flavour and aroma of the pasta as well as determining different digestibility and nutritional properties.
Our experience in the world of genuine food leads us to advise choosing a durum wheat pasta, to prefer an ancient wheat variety and to pay attention to the origin of the wheat because not only should it always be Italian, but it should be a wheat cultivated in the area where that variety was born because, in that specific area, both the soil and the climate are the most suitable for the best growth of the specific variety.

It is normal to think that the common pasta, the commercial and industrial one, produced in large quantities is unlikely to receive all the attention in the selection of wheat that it should receive to be a high quality pasta.

A similar thought applies to the subsequent stages of the production cycle: milling, kneading and kneading.
The milling must be gentle, not heating the grain so as not to compromise the original quality of the wheat, as well as the kneading and gramolatura, which should favour pure spring water and always involve non-aggressive processing so as not to compromise the quality of the dough.
And, it is difficult to think that industrial processing could contemplate such attentions.

The next phase, that of bronze or Teflon drawing, whose impact on pasta quality we have already mentioned, as well as being easily visible to the naked eye, because it is easy to understand from the aesthetic appearance of the pasta how it has been drawn, it can be said that bronze drawing is the rule followed by artisan pasta factories; in the industry Teflon drawing dominates, which is very fast and therefore less expensive.

Drying, as we have mentioned, deserves a little more thought because in the production process of industrial pasta factories, the drying of pasta at high temperatures and in a short time involves the structural alteration of proteins, the reduction of vitamins and the gelatinisation or 'plasticisation' of starches.

On the other hand, small artisanal pasta factories normally base their production process on drying at controlled temperatures, below 38°C, which takes a long time but results in a better quality product because there is no alteration of the nutritional components.
Industrial high-temperature drying (above 115°C) ruins the pasta:

The first damage occurs to the structure of the gluten, because the proteins are already depleted above 85°C, and this type of gluten with an altered chemical structure is less digestible and more irritating to the intestine.

The starches are also modified at high temperatures, which prevents the water from penetrating properly into the pasta during cooking.

The pasta undergoes a 'plasticisation' process on the outside, which results in a high cooking time and an uneven degree of cooking; it will remain raw on the inside and cooked on the outside, giving the fake perception of al dente pasta, but will be much less digestible.

The progressive increase in temperature during drying also causes damage to proteins that can be modified, with the formation of advanced glycation products called AGEs including furosine.

Other damage is suffered by vitamins, which are largely lost above 80°C (especially those of the B group). Finally, a very serious blow is also dealt to the organoleptic profile because the taste and aroma of real pasta is lost.

To summarise, treatment at very high temperatures changes the nutritional value of wheat and raises several concerns among nutritionists from a health point of view, but, on the other hand, it allows processing/drying times to be considerably reduced, with considerable savings in production costs.

These considerations clearly show the difference between industrial and artisan dry pasta, and how important it is to pay attention to all the processing stages.

But then, how can we understand the quality of the pasta we choose?

Read the labels, choose artisan and not industrial pasta.

be careful when the colour of the pasta is very bright and well-defined: quality dry pasta should have a 'pale' colour that reflects the colour of the grain of wheat (clearly this does not apply to wholemeal pasta);
pasta that is always al dente and is difficult to shake is not synonymous with quality, because it is certainly dried at very high temperatures; it must however be cooked so that it remains al dente and is more digestible;
the price: you cannot think that a pasta made with the rigour necessary to maintain the organoleptic and nutritional properties of the wheat from which it originates can have a 'low' price to the public.

Our health is worth more than a pound!

At Egro' you only find pasta that meets the criteria of high quality. Pastas that we ourselves eat every day and feel good about.