Wheat detectives probe pasta fraud

April 11, 1997

PASTA police from research institutes across Europe are working together to track down spaghetti fraud.

Scientists at Nottingham Trent University are developing rapid and reliable methods for detecting different types of wheat used in pasta production. The tastiest pasta is made from Durum wheat semolina and European Commission subsidies are available for producers. But some companies have been tempted to cheat customers by using cheaper kinds of wheat while labelling the product "100 per cent Durum".

Researchers at Nottingham Trent have developed new diagnostic tests using antibodies able to identify the different proteins in each kind of pasta. They are part of an international consortium which includes the French research body INRA, the University of Milan and Italian pasta manufacturer Barilla.

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