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Effects of nutritional treatments on protein content, dough functionality and pasta cooking quality of durum wheat cultivars

M.C. Gianibelli1, E. Larkin2, C. Kidd2, M.J. Sissons3

1AWB International, GPO Box 4562, Melbourne 3001, Australia,
Landmark Operations Pty Ltd, GPO Box 4562, Melbourne, 3001, Australia,
Tamworth Agricultural Institute, RMB 944, Tamworth, NSW 2340, Australia


Pasta products are made from semolina, the coarsely ground endosperm of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum var. durum). Protein quantity and quality are the most important factors affecting the production of high quality pasta. Dough functional properties and pasta cooking quality are largely determined by the gluten strength of semolina.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of different fertilizer treatments on the production (yield), protein content, dough functional properties and cooking pasta quality of durum wheat cultivars. For that purpose, two field experiments were established in two durum wheat production areas (NSW and SA). Durum wheat cultivars usually grown in those areas, were selected for this experiment.

Environmental factors such as location, seasonal conditions and the level of nutrients affected the protein content of the durum wheat cultivars analysed. Strong effects were observed, particularly in the SA site. Increases in protein content were related with better dough functional properties estimated by the Chopin Alveograph, with an increase in the dough strength (W value) mainly related to the increase in extensibility (L value). The relationship between dough functionally and pasta cooking quality is also discussed in this paper as well as the economic return of the various nutrient treatments.

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