Has Science Found a Way to Keep Pasta from Sticking Together?
A German brand wants to let you completely overcook your pasta without any ramifications.
Pasta can be a really easy dish to cook — often times to its own detriment. Though making really great sauced pasta takes a surprising amount of attention to detail, who hasn’t simply drained the noodles and tossed them back in the pot awaiting some to-be-determined further preparation? The problem, of course, is that, left unattended, cooked pasta typically sticks together. A little olive oil can usually stave off that unappealing mess, but a German company apparently has developed an even simpler solution: an enzyme that when added to flour will keep pasta from sticking.
The flour innovators at Mühlenchemie have created a new enzyme they call Pastazy PD, and mixing it in with pasta flour reportedly offers some crazy results. For consumers, the resulting “anti-stick” effect might be the most mind-blowing. “Customers keep the pasta warm for a long time and want the pasta to be stable,” the company told FoodNavigator-USA. Pastazy PD supposedly assures that stability by extending the cooking time of pasta by 20 minutes, ostensibly meaning that even as your noodles sit around, they’re not overcooking themselves.
However, though home cooks might see some benefits, the new enzyme’s real selling point appears to be as a cost-saver for pasta producers. Mühlenchemie suggests that the effects of overcooking are exacerbated when less expensive types of flours are used. But with Pastazy PD, the negative attributes of these inexpensive flours are themselves negated. As a result, pasta makers could “switch to cheaper wheat varieties and considerably reduce the cost of raw material,” the company was quoted as saying.
Needless to say, when put in those terms, Pastazy PD sounds a bit devious. Still, let’s be honest, if you’re so careless that you plan on overcooking your pasta and then letting it sit around for as many as 20 minutes before you do anything with it, is the best-quality flour really that high up your list of priorities? Meanwhile, you’re just going to cover up the flavor with way too much Parmesan cheese anyway!