A CNR research team has developed a system that uses infrared rays to identify pasta made with 100% Italian wheat
How can we be sure of the food we eat? On many packages of pasta, for example, there are labels and stickers stating that the product is ‘100% Italian’. But can we trust them? To dispel any doubts on the part of consumers, a team from the Institute of Food Science of the National Research Council (CNR-Ispa) has developed a truly innovative project. The researchers have developed an infrared system that can identify Italian pasta and distinguish it from ‘counterfeit’ pasta. This is made possible by FT-NIR or infrared spectroscopy technology,” explained CNR’s Annalisa De Girolamo. “The high capacity of the FT-NIR and of the statistical model,” explained De Girolamo, “makes it possible to distinguish over 94% of the pasta samples collected on the basis of the geographical origin of the wheat used in their production. The fact that a pasta sample belongs to one of the two classes under study indicates that the proposed approach has a high predictive power and is suitable to be applied to pasta authentication studies”.
Discovering the origin of pasta with infrared rays
The results of the CNR-Ispa study have been published in the journal Foods. “The study was conducted on 361 samples of durum wheat pasta belonging to 33 different Italian commercial brands in the period 2018-2020. Based on label information, 176 samples had been produced with 100% Italian durum wheat while the remaining 185 samples were classified as pasta produced with mixtures of durum wheat grown in Italy and other European or non-European countries. The results of the pasta samples, provided by the proposed spectroscopic model, showed that almost all of them confirmed the information on the packaging about the geographical origin of durum wheat, in accordance with the legislation in force in Italy”.
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