The United States is home to the largest pasta market in the world. According to the National Pasta Association, Americans consume a whopping 2.7 million tons of pasta a year and the average American consumes almost 20 lbs. (19.85 lbs) of pasta annually. As with any major food sector, it is important for pasta producers to ensure their product has a color that conveys flavor, freshness and quality in the eyes of the consumer.
Measuring pasta color occurs in two stages, flour and the actual pasta product. In both cases, color can be measured with an instrument like “The CR-410 Chroma Meter”. Color value is provided in L*a*b* format, b* is the indicator of yellowness in a sample. The higher b* becomes, the more yellow the sample appears.
A method for measuring the color of semolina flour.
Semolina flour is a course, medium grade durum wheat used for making pasta among other wheat products. Semolina flour contains several different color grains. For stable color data, an instrument with a large measurement aperture size can average a diverse set of sample colors. With a sizable measurement area of 50mm, The CR-410 can cover a large area of a sample. To stabilize sample measurement, it is important to maintain consistency in sample preparation. This means using the same sample size in the same container with the same pressure to compress sample, etc. for every measurement.
How-to Measure Semolina Flour
The Granular-Material Attachment CR-A50 is a great way of measuring a flour sample and is what we used in the steps below
- Place a portion of semolina inside the KM Granular materials attachment so that it is even with the top of the retaining ring
- Tap to compress the flour evenly
- Attach the cover to the base by aligning its indices with the grooves on the collar
- Next, insert the CR 410 measuring head so that it rests on the surface
- Finally press the “Measure” key
When done you should see measurements similar to the ones below
|Color vales for b*: Semolina Flour|
|Sample A||Sample B||Sample C||Sample D|
Measurement of final product
Another way to measure pasta color is using the actual pasta product. For example, when measuring spaghetti, the sample needs to fill its container. The surface needs to be carefully made flat so that the instrument can attach to the sample without any gaps to eliminate instability in the sample’s positioning. We recommend performing multiple measurements and averaging data for stable results.
By checking pasta, color in various production stages waste can be
reduced and quality maintained.
With such a high demand for pasta Color, measurement could save you pounds of pasta a year, which means not only meeting quotas but also maximizing every dollar spent on material costs.