Pavan holds international pasta technology course

by World Grain Staff
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GALLIERA VENETA, ITALY — A training course in English and Spanish on pasta technologies was held in late November at the headquarters of Pavan in Galliera Veneta, Italy. The 12th edition of the course had 50 attendees including technologists, production managers and quality managers from 35 pasta manufacturing companies from 25 countries. Professors from the academic community and process managers of Pavan’s Dry Pasta Division took turns lecturing during the five-day seminar. Topics covered included the entire pasta supply chain, from theoretical aspects to extremely practical issues such as trials in a pilot plant and panel tests for sensory evaluation.

The first lecture was by Professor Maria Grazia D’Egidio, director of the research on the quality of grain at the Agricultural Research Council in Rome, Italy. D’Egidio defined durum wheat and its components from the agronomic and chemical point of view and explained the analytical methods, the nutritional aspects and the sensorial characteristics.

Next, Professor Donatella Peressini from the Food Science Department of the University of Udine addressed the “behavioral” issues of durum wheat, describing the type of bonds that are formed during the structuring of gluten and the stress triggered by the drying process.

At the end of the day, the director of Pavan’s research and development, Luciano Mondardini, provided a complete picture of the dosing and mixing systems, explaining the different philosophies of the major manufacturers.

Topics on the second day focused on the drying process. Thermodynamics and its applications with an engineering and chemical approach were examined. The scientific lectures were conducted by Professor Domenico Gabriele, Department of Mathematical Modeling, University of Calabria, and Professor Donatella Peressini.

Drying was also the focus of the third day of the conference. After a brief overview on state-of-the-art drying equipment, the basic principles of drying were examined and the various construction solutions available on the market were analyzed, focusing on high-temperature drying technology, also known as TAS, which has sparked a revolution in drying times and methods.

Efficiency and energy savings in production facilities was also discussed. Some practical applications were presented to optimize energy consumption and implicit costs. Trials and analyses were run in Pavan’s R&D facility including extrusion of short-cut pasta using both durum wheat and soft wheat, low-temperature drying and high-temperature drying. The pasta manufactured during the trials was tested on the following day by tasting panels that carried out sensory analyses.

Packaging and maintenance in all its various aspects were examined on the fourth day. Professor Stefano Farris from DISTAM (Department of Food Science, Technology and Microbiology-University of Milan) and Luciano Morellato, director of Pavan’s packaging division, explained the functions of packaging materials and the main packaging styles. The latest innovations in packaging equipment, such as the stripping jaws and the systems for the detection of bar codes, were also presented.

A lecture was also conducted that included practical examples of a series of maintenance issues that are often neglected by equipment users. Giulia Baccarin of I-Care Italia applied the technologies of proactive and predictive maintenance to industrial plants, demonstrating that it is possible to reduce maintenance costs and at the same time increase productivity.

The course ended with a number of insights on automation of industrial equipment, supervision systems, control systems and product traceability procedures. A lecture on hygiene and other important issues connected to the food processing industry was conducted by Claudio Pollini, director of the Pavan School of Food Technologies. The last lecture of the course was about the so-called “alternative” pasta such as pasta made from corn, rice, einkorn, and kamut as well as non-gluten pasta or oriental noodles.

For information about next training courses organized by the Pavan School of Food Technologies, visit, call Pavan +39 049 9423111 or e-mail: