Pasta is generally made from semolina of a special type of wheat called durum wheat. It is primarily gluten that is the basis of pasta and gives pasta its excellent cooking properties. People with gluten intolerance can also enjoy gluten-free pasta. The production of this pasta is anything but trivial. Gluten-free pasta is typically made from the starch of various starchy foods, e.g. corn, potatoes, beans, rice or millet. Its chemical structure is completely different from that of normal pasta. Gluten-free pasta has no basic protein structure. The structure is largely defined by the structure of the starch network. Manufacturers face a major technological challenge in imitating the taste and texture of conventional pasta by using suitable recipes.
The bulk of gluten-free pasta available on the market is based on maize flour or rice flour. The production of gluten-free pasta is, however, also possible with bean flour. Sweden has been home to one of our hammer mills for grinding beans since 2017. The bean flour that is extracted is used to make gluten-free pasta.
How to make pasta from beans
Our Tietjen mills can be used for grinding a wide range of things: from ordinary bulk materials such as cereals through to unusual raw materials such as incense resin. We want to supply the right mill and system to suit every application. We are particularly interested in the field of food production. A Swedish company has been using our mill to produce bean flour for the production of gluten-free pasta since 2017 now. Bean flour has the advantage that, as a legume flour, it contains very little gluten. This makes it suitable for people with gluten intolerance.
The special project was already launched back in April 2016. The first grinding trials with our customer and the company Silkokonsult took place at this time. Our common goal: the perfect fineness for the bean flour to be ground. Our end customer, a Swedish food manufacturer, has now been using the system since May 2017 and it has been producing the best bean flour for gluten-free pasta ever since.
The system in focus
The Tietjen VDK high-speed mill is the heart of the grinding module with a suction-pneumatic flour conveying system. This is used together with a total separator with pocket filter technology. Our VDK mill has been designed for the fine grinding of demanding recipes and products and is consequently perfectly suited for the grinding of beans for food production.
One particular challenge when planning and designing the system was to grind black beans, white beans and kidney beans in just one process. The aim was to achieve a fineness of 99% < 500µm. The specifications were achieved without any problems thanks to joint grinding tests carried out with the customer in the Tietjen test facilities. Special screens are used for this special grinding. The screens have a long service life and ensure consistent quality in the process.
The system is fitted with a flameless explosion pressure relief system in accordance with the latest safety aspects. The calculation was based on the specific explosion characteristics of the bean flour. The conclusion to be drawn after the first 30 months of operation: the production of gluten-free pasta is successful. The expectations with regard to the technology of the system and the support in terms of continuous system optimisation and maintenance have been fulfilled. We are already planning new projects in the area of food production.