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with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

Elaine Magee's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New White Pasta That’s Also High in Fiber

If you have had a tough time passing off whole wheat pasta to your family, you will be interested in this new pasta by Barilla: Piccolini Rich in Fiber – White. It’s white in color but high in fiber.

This new pasta has 3 times more fiber than regular pasta. In a 100 gram serving, it provides over 40% of the daily fiber goal, and 30% of the daily whole grains recommendation.

A 2-ounce (56 gram) serving is a sensible serving size for most of us, and this amount contains 6 grams of fiber, which is exactly what one store brand’s whole grain pasta gives you. Each serving also contributes 7 grams of protein, the same amount as whole grain pasta.

So how did they do it?

Comparing these two lists of ingredients, it’s hard to see how the two types of pasta, one white and one brown, could contain the same amount of fiber. Barilla’s Whole Wheat pasta contains whole durum wheat flour, semolina, durum wheat flour, and oat fiber.

The first two ingredients of the new Piccolini pasta are semolina wheat (a coarse durum wheat) and durum wheat flour. Whole durum wheat flour is the third ingredient and is one of the key fiber-boosting ingredients. According to Barilla, fiber in the new Piccolini pasta also comes from hi-maize 260 (listed on the label as corn starch), which they describe as a “resistant starch, which resists digestion in the small intestine and behaves as dietary fiber in the large intestine.”

I personally like the brown, nutty flavored whole grain pastas, but this new white but rich in fiber line of pasta gives white pasta lovers a much-improved option.

The new Piccolini Rich in Fiber – White product line comes in three fun mini shapes: rotini, conchiglie/shells, and penne.

How did it taste? I’m used to whole wheat pasta, but this pasta looked and tasted just like white pasta to me. It holds its shape well when cooked, and the mini shapes help make this product line appealing and fun.

Posted by: Elaine Magee, RD at 3:52 pm

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