How many of you consider pasta as one of your favourite dishes? Most of you may have had macaroni and cheese, herbed penne or some yummy fusilli with pink sauce at home or in a restaurant when it was safe to venture out.
Even though the classic pasta is a fan favourite among many, there are several other shapes and sizes of this popular Italian food item that one can choose from. But, how would you feel if we say that someone has developed a special kind of flat pasta that morphs into a different shape when cooked!
How does it work?
A group of scientists from the USA is responsible for coming up with this new version of pasta. Specialists at the Morphing Matter Lab, from Material Science and other related disciplines at Carnegie Mellon University, have developed a flat pasta that morphs into various 3D shapes.
Once cooked for around seven minutes, the noodle changes into tubes, waves or spirals, thus giving us options like penne, spaghetti or fusilli to choose from! Now that is much lesser than the average time taken to cook the conventional pasta, right?
How did they come up with this ‘magic’ pasta? Well in essence, they made grooves on flat pasta sheets that increase the time taken for the water to cook that area of the pasta. By carefully planning where and how to place the grooves, they enabled the flat pasta to transform when cooked.
It is certainly a fascinating experience to watch! And to top it all, the packaging of this pasta will be a surprise. We mean that when you actually purchase a pack of this special pasta from the store it will seem like an unassuming flat noodle. Adding a bit of boiling water works the magic. Seems like Potions class from Harry Potter, right?
As a result, cooking it (and eating it) will certainly be an interesting experience! Think about it. A pasta shapeshifter which makes dinner an adventure! Should you go pesto or just stick to white sauce?
The group of scientists believed that bringing science to the kitchen would always strike gold. The trial runs they had conducted by cooking the 3D pasta were largely successful! One trial was conducted on a portable camp stove during a hiking trip and the other was served at a dinner party.
What are the benefits?
Besides leading us to yummy surprises, this flat pasta is also good for the environment. Can you guess how?
Being flat, the pasta strands take less space, compared to the regular pasta we get in the market.
Now, since they occupy less space, we can reduce the amount of packaging material needed. The material we use to pack pasta is a mix of plastic and paper. And when this flat pasta requires less packaging material, it also requires less plastic. You all know the benefits of reducing plastic, right? It brings down our carbon footprint significantly.
Here is another benefit: These flat pastas, being more compact, are easier to be transported too. You can ship more of these pasta packs and take them along with you wherever you go, even in space!
Which is your favourite kind of pasta and what do you have it with? Tell us in the comments below.
Aparna is a mom, singer and dreamer. At BYJU'S, she writes stories about learning for children. She believes in the power of music, especially ghazal, the magic of the universe and happy learners. When not writing or singing, you will find her intensely engaged in conversations about life and the power of words.
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