Instant Rice-based Composite Pasta Requiring No Cooking
The present study was undertaken to develop rice-based composite pasta with improved cooking/rehydrating and nutritional qualities. Pasta samples (T1-T10) having different proportions of rice flour (RF, 60-80%), wheat flour (WF, 40-12%), malted green gram flour (MGGF, 5 and 10%) and guar gum (GG, 1-3%) were prepared using a single screw extruder. Pasta made of 100% WF served as the control (T0). The cooked or rehydrated samples were evaluated for their cooking properties (optimum cooking time, cooking loss and swelling index), whiteness and yellowness indices, textural and organoleptic parameters. Substitution of WF by RF significantly reduced the cooking time, and improved the whiteness and swelling indices of the samples. However, reduction in WF increased the cooking loss, compromised textural and organoleptic attributes in samples with high RF content (80%); nevertheless, addition of GG and MGGF reduced these losses and improved the sensory qualities (p < 0.05). Irrespective of the composition of rice-based pasta, the optimal cooking time ranged within 2–4 min (unlike T0) and these samples could also be rehydrated in hot water within a short span of 5 min to attain textural qualities at par with their cooked counterparts and with sensorial scores well above the limit of acceptable range (≥5) (except T3 (80%RF + 20%WF)); nonetheless the cooked ones led to higher preference from the sensory panel. Adhesiveness of the rehydrated samples was lesser than their cooked counterparts, while vice versa was observed in case of their instrumental firmness/hardness. Among these, T7 (70%RF + 19%WF + 10%MGGF + 1%GG) and T9 (80%RF + 13%WF + 5%MGGF + 2%GG) exhibited high protein content (∼1.17–1.29 times higher than T0) and the most desired low in vitro starch digestibility and calorific values (∼1.16–1.25 fold reduction). Thus low-cost quick-cooking/rehydrating pasta can be successfully developed by adding suitable amount of MGGF and GG into rice-wheat composite flours.