Influence of processing conditions on quality aspects of potato-based fresh pasta

Alessandrini, Laura (2010) Influence of processing conditions on quality aspects of potato-based fresh pasta, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e biotecnologie degli alimenti, 22 Ciclo.
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Gnocchi is a typical Italian potato-based fresh pasta that can be either homemade or industrially manufactured. The homemade traditional product is consumed fresh on the day it is produced, whereas the industrially manufactured one is vacuum-packed in polyethylene and usually stored at refrigerated conditions. At industrial level, most kinds of gnocchi are usually produced by using some potato derivatives (i.e. flakes, dehydrated products or flour) to which soft wheat flour, salt, some emulsifiers and aromas are added. Recently, a novel type of gnocchi emerged on the Italian pasta market, since it would be as much similar as possible to the traditional homemade one. It is industrially produced from fresh potatoes as main ingredient and soft wheat flour, pasteurized liquid eggs and salt, moreover this product undergoes steam cooking and mashing industrial treatments. Neither preservatives nor emulsifiers are included in the recipe. The main aim of this work was to get inside the industrial manufacture of gnocchi, in order to improve the quality characteristics of the final product, by the study of the main steps of the production, starting from the raw and steam cooked tubers, through the semi-finished materials, such as the potato puree and the formulated dough. For this purpose the investigation of the enzymatic activity of the raw and steam cooked potatoes, the main characteristics of the puree (colour, texture and starch), the interaction among ingredients of differently formulated doughs and the basic quality aspects of the final product have been performed. Results obtained in this work indicated that steam cooking influenced the analysed enzymes (Pectin methylesterase and α- and β-amylases) in different tissues of the tuber. PME resulted still active in the cortex, it therefore may affect the texture of cooked potatoes to be used as main ingredient in the production of gnocchi. Starch degrading enzymes (α- and β-amylases) were inactivated both in the cortex and in the pith of the tuber. The study performed on the potato puree showed that, between the two analysed samples, the product which employed dual lower pressure treatments seemed to be the most suitable to the production of gnocchi, in terms of its better physicochemical and textural properties. It did not evidence aggregation phenomena responsible of hard lumps, which may occur in this kind of semi-finished product. The textural properties of gnocchi doughs were not influenced by the different formulation as expected. Among the ingredients involved in the preparation of the different samples, soft wheat flour seemed to be the most crucial in affecting the quality features of gnocchi doughs. As a consequence of the interactive effect of the ingredients on the physicochemical and textural characteristics of the different doughs, a uniform and well-defined split-up among samples was not obtained. In the comparison of different kinds of gnocchi, the optimal physicochemical and textural properties were detected in the sample made with fresh tubers. This was probably caused not only by the use of fresh steam cooked potatoes, but also by the pasteurized liquid eggs and by the absence of any kind of emulsifier, additive or preserving substance.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Alessandrini, Laura
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
19 Maggio 2010

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