Friday, November 13, 2009

Wheat Asian Noodles

Wheat Asian Noodles
Noodles represent a dominant usage of wheat flour in much of Asia.

Many Asian countries, including China, are rapidly growing wheat importers.

Exporting nations are increasingly interested in the quality requirements for wheat flour destined for use in noodles.

Foods scientists are interested in developing new, high quality, convenient forms of noodles, often developed from traditional formulations and processing methods.

A basic understanding of noodles requires an overview of their diversity, an in depth look at the scientific basis for quality in a few key types an some guidelines for testing methods and criteria that may aid in product development.

There are a few key points that should be emphasized regarding Asian noodles.

Asian wheat noodles are made from common wheat flour (hexaploid wheat Triticum aestivum, bread wheat), not from the durum wheat flour used for European type pasta.

Asian noodles are sheeted and cut from slow moisture dough, not extruded like European pasta.

In Asian noodles the key criteria for quality are texture and color.

Textural requirements are specific for different types of noodles and according to regional preferences.

Discoloration of noodles toward gray is a major negative.

In many cases the right color – the right white or yellow is essential.

The basic types of wheat or wheat composite noodles represent for main types:
*White salted, consisting of flour, water, and common salt and typified by the Japanese udon noodles

*Yellow alkaline noodles, consisting of flour, water and alkali and typified by Cantonese yellow noodles.

*Composite flour noodles where wheat flour is mixed with other starch based material such as buckwheat flour and typified by the Japanese soba noodles

*Instant noodles, where noodle is steamed (for starch gelatinization, i.e. cooking) and fried (for drying) and can be rapidly rehydrated before consumption, typified by the common instant ramen packaged noodles.

Starch noodles are prepared by mixing purified starch with some pre-gelatinized starch as a binder, mixing to a “dough” and extruding into boiling water.
Wheat Asian Noodles

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