Spaghetti could be one of the new super foods of the future
as Australian and Italian researchers join forces to develop
a healthier type of wheat.
University of Adelaide researchers will be part of an
international team investigating ways to increase the amount
of healthy soluble fibre in durum wheat, which is commonly
used to make pasta.
The researchers from the university's ARC Centre of
Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, in collaboration with the
University of Bari, will explore how the growth of durum
wheat affects levels of starch and dietary fibre.
Meanwhile, a second stage with the University of Molise will
research the role of two major dietary fibre components -
arabinoxylans and beta-glucans - in the quality of pasta and
University of Adelaide Associate Professor Rachel Burton said
the goal was to develop a wheat to potentially use in
breeding programs that could improve the health benefits of
"In simple terms, 'super spaghetti' means that it contains a
range of potential health benefits for the consumer, such as
reducing the risk of heart disease or colorectal cancer,"
Associate Prof Burton said.
"Our research is aimed at achieving that, but we're also
looking to improve the quality of pasta as well as its health
properties," she said.
The research would also investigate the importance of vitamin
E, an antioxidant, in wheat, Associate Prof Burton said.