The dough was invented

The dough was invented

Penne rigate, farfalle, fusilli and more – the variety of shapes greatly contributes to the enjoyment of Italian pasta. However, these shapes usually have a large dead size and are also fragile. The solution to this is preform dough, which dries flat and only acquires its final shape during cooking.

People love Italian pasta not only for its taste but also for its thousands of shapes. It looks very different when you attach a tube or regatonite pen to the fork than it does fusillite or rotinite. However, the dough itself is exactly the same for each of them, just the shapes are different: the tail wall differs from the conchillia only by its shape, and nothing else.

The problem is that the dough has to be packed in disproportionately large bags and boxes with the weight of the filling due to its tough shape. This problem captured the imagination of materials scientists working in the Metals Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and came up with a very ingenious response:

They developed self-shaping dough, which is a flat, raw dough that curls into a familiar shape during cooking.

The group forms small grooves on the surface of traditional pasta, which consist only of semolina flour and water, and the cavities are placed in a delicate manner so that the dough is curled into tubes, nails, butterflies and more as desired during cooking.

ClarificationSource: Anadolu Agency via AFP / 2021 Anadolu Agency / Sezgin Pancar

The dough that has acquired its final shape is identical to traditional Italian pasta in terms of appearance, taste and all other sensory characteristics, but on the one hand it opens up new possibilities for food designers, limited by imagination only, and on the other hand, the raw shape “mounted on plates” saves space and energy during storage and transportation. .

It was the panel-mounted furniture that specifically inspired us: how much smaller space it fits, how easy it is to store it, and how drastically it reduces the environmental footprint of transportation. Saeed Linning Yao is head of the Metals Laboratory at the Institute for Human-Computer Interaction, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. “So we decided to consider whether the deformable material technology that we had developed could aid in the development of flatpacked noodles, which we hope will bring similar sustainability benefits.

The group’s knowledge of the physical mechanism of deformation and design principles is described in the paper “Forming Dough – and Beyond,” which becomes a cover story in the latest issue of Science Advances. The authors consist of 17 members, among them are Carnegie Mellon University researchers. Syracuse University and Zhejiang University in China with material scientists, mechanical engineers, computer design, and manufacturing specialists.

Indents printed in flat dough increase the time required to cook on a specific area of ​​dough. By carefully designing the location and quality of the cavities, researchers can control how the dough looks as it cooks. The embossed side expands less during cooking than the flat side, so the dough folds Explained Teng Zhang, the professor at Syracuse University who performed the model analysis in the project.

Since the deformation is controlled by surface depressions, the method can be applied to any material capable of swelling. The group showed, for example, that it can cause silicone rubber sheets to deform with the same technique. The procedure can be beneficial for both soft robotics and medical device design. The spotlight is on Wen Wang, former assistant at the Metallurgical Laboratory.

Plastic used in food packaging accounts for a large proportion of global household waste, and a large percentage of plastic packaging is made in the ocean despite efforts to selectively collect and recycle it. Therefore, more efficient packaging is an essential component in minimizing waste, and contributing to a sustainable future. Not only does flat dough require less filling, but it also saves space during transportation and storage.

ClarificationSource: dpa Picture-Alliance via AFP / Bernd Wustneck

In their paper, the researchers also suggested that flat-packed pasta could also reduce carbon emissions from cooking. In Italy, the home of pasta, cooking pasta is responsible for nearly 1 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, flat dough overflows sooner than cylindrical dough, so it can also reduce your cooking carbon footprint.

Yi Tao, a former postdoctoral fellow in the Materials Lab and lead author of the article, tested flat dough on a field trip on a field trip. The dough took up less space in his bag, didn’t shatter on the hike, and was cooked to perfection on a portable tourist gas heater. The shape-shifting dough was indistinguishable from the traditional in terms of texture, taste and appearance. “ The researcher said.

It is clear that the normal dough is somewhat shaped during cooking as it swells and softens. The group took advantage of these natural properties of the dough when designing the flat version. And the idea didn’t come out of the blue, as Lining Yao and his lab have been studying the deformation properties of a variety of materials, including plastics, rubber, textiles, and other foods, and their potential applications for many years.

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