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I'll be extruding pasta this weekend to use in a constructed food. I have good durum semolina but I'm wondering is whether adding egg will increase the overall strength of the macaroni and spaghetti. I understand that egg is often used when the protein content of a flour is low. In this case I have no doubt about the protein content of my semolina, I'm just exploring options to increase overall strength once dried.

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Off the top of my head, the albumin should assist with holding it together while fresh, though the yolk fat may interfere with gluten linking. I'd imagine an end result similar to spaetzle with a softer chew than durum-only pasta.

There's a resource regarding egg use in pastas, specifically mentioning albumin/yolk ratios in the abstract, but it's paywalled:

Egg Innovations and Strategies for Improvements - Chapter 24 - The Use of Egg and Egg Products in Pasta Production. Cristina Alamprese. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-800879-9.00024-X

Another resource that may be helpful for you, full text available, discusses the effect of extrusion vs lamination for dough texture between durum-only and egg pasta (section 3.7). Edit: Section 3.2 also mentions higher lipid contents in dough lubricating extrusion dies, resulting in lower extrusion pressure:

Pasta-Making Process: A Narrative Review on the Relation between Process Variables and Pasta Quality. Andrea Bresciani, Maria Ambrogina Pagani, Alessandra Marti. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11030256

Edit: An article referenced by the above mentions how extruded egg pasta differs structurally from durum-only, but would not be noticeable to most consumers:

Effect of extrusion process on properties of cooked, fresh egg pasta. Stefano Zardetto, Marco Dalla Rosa. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2008.10.027


On a side note, are you following Alex French Guy's pasta series on YouTube?

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  • Swabian here: Spätzle and pasta, although using the same ingredients, are at best distant cousins when we are comparing cooked results (not to mention how the dough is supposed to be, of course).
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 10:42
  • @Stephie thank you for the clarification. My understanding was that bugmagnet's finished product, a dried extruded egg pasta, would would have more spring/resistance than dried durum-only pasta and a higher perceived density than a fresh egg pasta due to dehydration+rehydration; hence, cooked spaetzle as a point of reference. Dried egg noodles could be another comparison, though this might not account for the higher protein durum. Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 11:19
  • I have no idea who Alex French Guy is. Is he a french guy called Alex? That's the level of my ignorance. But seeing as you've mentioned him, I'll go look.
    – bugmagnet
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 14:56
  • Hmm ... I think I'll give the egg a miss then. I do want strong gluten links.
    – bugmagnet
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 14:57
  • @borkymcfood I am not criticizing your very well researched answer (+1 of course), just pointing out that Spätzle probably isn’t a suitable example. Cooked Spätzle are significantly softer than pasta, including the kind with eggs, they have no “bite”.
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 8, 2022 at 14:59

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