The trick to this shape-shifting are grooves cut into the raw pasta. Those grooves affect how the noodles swell as they cook.
This pasta is no limp noodle. When imprinted with grooves, it can morph into tubes, spirals and other traditional shapes as it cooks. This new technique would allow uncooked pasta to take up less space. That means it would need less packaging.
Pasta lovers “are very picky about the shapes of pasta and how they pair with different sauces,” says Lining Yao. She studies the design of smart materials at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn. Flat pasta like spaghetti holds less sauce than twisty types like rotini. But those shapes come at a cost: bigger packages. For some curly pasta, more than 60 percent of the package holds just air.
Yao and her colleagues stamped a series of grooves onto one side of each noodle. Then they cooked that pasta. The pasta absorbed water as its cooked. But the liquid couldn’t penetrate as fully into the grooved side. So that side swelled less than the smooth side. That asymmetric swelling bent the previously flat noodle into a curve. By changing the arrangement of the grooves, the researchers controlled the final shape.
Computer simulations of swelling pasta replicated the shapes seen in the experiments. Yao and her colleagues reported their research May 5 in Science Advances.
The technique isn’t limited to pasta. Experiments using silicone rubber in a solvent produced similar results. But the silicone rubber didn’t hold its shape as the pasta did. The silicone eventually absorbed enough solvent to flatten out again. The pasta stayed curly because the starchy pasta gets gluey as it cooks. That helps lock in the twists by fusing neighboring grooves together.
Removing the silicone from the solvent caused the material to bend in the opposite direction. This reversible bending process could be useful. Bendy silicone could make a grabber for robot hands that opens and closes.
The pasta makes good camping food, Yao says. A member of her team brought it along on a recent hiking trip. The pasta slips easily into a cramped pack. But it cooks into a satisfying shape.
A picturesque hypercar romp on the Côte d’Azur. Bugatti recently sent out invitations to guests for them to experience the Chiron Pur Sport and Chiron Sport through Saint-Tropez on the Côte d’Azur. From mid-July to mid-August, those invited guests will be given a wonderful time with the groundbreaking hypercars. The event starts with a briefing […]
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In a surprising turn of events, Israel has been announced as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics. An IOC spokesperson explained the decision “We at the IOC believe it is important to please everyone, all of the time. Human rights abuses aren’t very nice, are they? We didn’t really like the look of Kazakhstan – we watched ‘Borat’ about 3 times before coming to that decision. And while we all agree that Chinese takeout is the best, we don’t really want to see the actual process behind it. Namely children, sweatshops, and meat that we in the West generally refer to as ‘pets’.” RELATED: Israel Announces Plan to Build 2,000 Hurdles in East Jerusalem “We believe that holding the Winter Olympics in Israel will be an easy way of uniting the International Community,...
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Presented by RM Sotheby’s – The Jaguar D-Type looks its part in a way that even few other competition cars of the 1950s do: Even sitting still, it fairly radiates speed and lightness. It is, at its heart, a strong, lightweight monocoque body tub, snugly fitting the driver, with a solid rear axle and suspension […]
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Being quite small, insects can deal with the air-water boundary far differently than larger animals do. Surface tension allows water striders, for instance, to skate along the top of still waters. But new research reveals something even stranger: Some insects trek along this boundary from the underside. A water-dwelling beetle can scuttle upside-down along the underside of the water’s surface. It’s as if the water were a solid pane of glass, researchers report June 28 in Ethology. Their report is the first detailed report of a beetle moving this way (which only a few other species can do). John Gould is a behavioral biologist. He works at the University of Newcastle in Callaghan, Australia. He never set out to look for beetles in the country’s Watagan Mountains....
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