Probiotic Pasta: The Next 'Super' Food?

Your favorite comfort food just got even better. A group of Italian researchers, who published their findings in the Journal of Cereal Science, found that the probiotic strain in the pasta they developed remained viable through the cooking process, at a concentration high enough to provide health benefits for consumers. 

Longer cooking resulted in lower CFUs (colony forming units). Optimal cooking time for properly cooked pasta while maintaining the highest concentration of cells was found to be between five to seven minutes.

Though not yet available on the market, previous research has shown that the specific strain used in the pasta, B. coagulans, improves symptoms related to gastrointestinal disorders, from irritable bowel syndrome to rheumatoid arthritis. It is important to note, however, that currently no official health claims have been registered for this strain.

Motivation behind this kind of research comes from increasing interest in functional foods and changing consumer requirements. Satisfying hunger and providing necessary nutrients is no longer enough, inspiring innovation within the food industry.