In all shapes. In all sizes. There is a pasta for each one of us. And more recently, there is a pasta for each one of us.
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a shape-shifting pasta which, originally flat, swells into its full 3D shape when cooked! Call Sam and Dean, but only for dinner. (:
Let’s break it down.
Who is making flat pasta?
Researchers from the Morphing Matter Lab at Carnegie Mellon University are the ones who have embarked on a journey to make flat dry pasta.
Why does pasta need to be flat at all?
We know, pasta is great just the way it is, but there are SO many reasons it’s better flat. Firstly, it saves a lot of space. Imagine packing macaroni in a plastic bag. Around 60% space will be taken by air. Now, imagine packing farfalle in the same bag. So much more quantity of it would be able to fit in the same package. This space-saving quality allows flat pasta to be transported to disaster-struck places and, not surprisingly, space stations!
Another benefit of flat pasta is the fact that, because it needs lesser space, it amounts to much lesser plastic packaging waste. Go green, Go Pasta!
How is flat pasta being developed?
Researchers have shared that they used a machine to press tiny grooves into the flat pasta dough made using only semolina and water. These grooves are what give the pasta its shape. When boiled, the grooves transform the shape of the flat pasta and bloom it into a full 3D one. However, it is more complex than swelling, study co-author Zhang says. A computer model has been developed which predicts the outcome of various designs of the flat pasta according to the heat and water that would change the dough’s starch and gluten content during the cooking process.
What inspired flat pasta?
Flat furniture. Yes, you read that right. Researcher Linking Yao said that they were inspired by how flat furniture saved space and reduced carbon footprint.
Which shapes does flat pasta come in?
Even though it’s flat when dry, the pasta can transform into well-known shapes like fusilli, conchiglie, and many more.
Has the flat pasta been tried and tasted?
YES! In real-life settings, at dinner parties and during camping – the pasta is tried and tested. When cooked properly, it looks, feels and tastes exactly like our traditional pasta.
Are you going to add flat pasta to your next grocery list? Tell us!
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