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The oldest farro available today Monococco Farro

Why is it special?

Its reduced gluten content and very fragile gluten structure mean that the dough made from this grain is difficult to use in conventional pasta making processes.

Despite this difficulty however, and thanks to the innovative cold processing and drying method employed, Pietro Massi has succeeded both in producing long-shaped pasta made with 100% Monococco semolina, and in maintaining unharmed its principal nutritional characteristics: a lower gluten content and a higher dietary fibre and protein content than that found in classic semolina.

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Further information

Spelt is an autumn-winter cereal that easily adapts to poor soils.
Apart from the products produced by Pietro Massi, other specialties produced with 100% Farro Monococco are available on the market. In the majority of cases, however, it is only used to make short pasta. Pietro Massi, on the other hand, also produces long-pasta products based on 100% Monococco Farro.

Compared to other wheat varieties, Monococco farro is characterised by:

  • a low gluten content
  • a large number of antioxidants
  • a higher protein value than that of other grains
  • high levels of micro elements (magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, etc.)
  • low levels of saturated fatty acids
  • the presence of yellow pigments
  • a high vitamin E content

As is the case for all the cereals used in our range of products, the Pietro Massi cold processing method ensures that all the nutritional elements contained in Monococco spelt remain unharmed, protected and carefully preserved.

The complicated processing of spelt

In general, the difficulty in producing spelt-based pasta lies in the fact that spelt has a low water retention capacity compared to semolina and is therefore difficult to process. Moreover, these rheological characteristics make it particularly sticky and not very cohesive. Another difficulty when using it for long pasta is that it does not cook well and breaks easily, because the lack of gluten, which is what usually gives elasticity to the dough, means that it very fragile.

The preservation of nutritional aspects

In addition to having a higher protein value than semolina, the nutritional advantages of spelt are related to the presence of lysine, (an essential amino acid that forms a part of various proteins present in human tissue), and also to the notable presence of yellow antioxidant pigments (carotenoids) in the grain.
Since our dough for long pasta is made in single mono – process without extrusion, and dried at <48°C, none of the nutritional elements contained in the spelt are lost.

On the contrary, during the phases of conventional mixing processes:

  • cereal-based foods see an increase in carotenoid content loss during preparation
  • the content of carotenoids in foods prepared with spelt is generally lower than that available before processing
  • In the phase of mixing and extrusion, which is prolonged when using conventional methods, there is a loss of about 48% of the carotenoids as against a loss of approximately 13% when using the Pietro Massi method.

Generally speaking, the conventional extrusion phase would seem to be the one that causes most nutritional depletion in the dough, whereas the drying phase seems to have little effect.

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The result? A unique pasta.

Pietro Massi’s cold working method allows us to preserve all the nutritional elements contained in the spelled that, as in the other cereals used for the realization of our references, are not degraded, rather they are particularly preserved.

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