T Nation

Low-Carb Pasta

In doing some research earlier today, I found an interesting, new low-carb pasta product that does not include soy protein. Dreamfields Pasta (www.dreamfields.com) makes a pasta product that only has 5g of Net Carbs per serving. As a frame of reference, “regular” pasta contains 32-40g per 2-ounce serving.

A 52-gram (2-ounce) serving of Dreamfields Pasta includes 42 grams of Total Carbohydrates, of which 37 are rendered non-digestible by a “fiber blend” process. There is, of course, a patent pending. The process leaves only 5 digestible carbs per serving,

Quoting from an article written by David Mendosa, “The technology behind Dreamfields Pasta results in most of the carbohydrate grams becoming ‘protected’ or non-digestible, Dr. Anfinsen tells me. It ‘involves molecular interactions that help block the enzyme from attacking the carbohydrate starch granule. It is not encapsulated. We have basically created a situation where there is a matrix more or less that has a tendency to attract the enzyme to the matrix and not the carbohydrate.’”

The company has been less than forthcoming about the technology, but it will say that it creates its “protected carbohydrates” without chemical modification and by utilizing combinations of standard food ingredients to “protect” digestible carbohydrates from being broken down by digestive enzymes.

The product reportedly does not cause stomach upset, and it has a glycemic index of about 12.

The Nutrition Facts report a serving of pasta is 190 calories, when in reality it is less. When asked why, Dr. Anfinsen of Dreamfields said, "It actually has less. This is a problem with labeling this type of product. The FDA does not have a procedure that we can follow. When you put something in your mouth that is what you report. If something happens in your body, then it changes.

“For example, if you were to use all that carbohydrate you would have to count the calories per gram of the carbohydrate that was taken into your mouth. But if you bypass those carbs into the colon, where they are fermented, a large amount of the energy goes into the biomass of the bacteria which become feces and are passed on, so the body doesn?t use that energy, and it also puts it into certain forms that aren?t used as energy by the body in the fermentation process in the colon.”

Dr. Anfinsen said that they haven’t completed their fermentation energy studies, but that non-digestible carbohydrates have fewer carbohydrate per gram than the 4 calories per gram that carbohydrates typically have.

Dreamfields began producing the pasta in January. It is just starting to hit the shelves in major supermarkets, including Wal-Mart Super Centers, Kroger and Safeway

I have been eating the Dreamfields pasta for about a month now and have enjoyed it very much. The grocery store I go to only carries elbow macaroni and spaghetti, I would like to see some vermicelli.

How’s the taste and price comparison to regular whole wheat pastas?

~Paul

Paul, I was hoping Sully’s might tell us what he thought of the taste and texture, too.

Price, I think SRP is $2.59, but Safeway was selling it at a premium, $2.99 (above SRP). I’m probably going to do a search on the 'Net for a good price.

I’ve seen another one, can’t remember what it’s called, uses some sort of special semolina flour (regular pasta flour, same taste, texture, etc.) and has some sort of wheat protein added. It has something like 29g carbs per cup dry, with 15g fiber, and 17g protein. Fat is like .5g

Sorry my reply was too short but I was crunched for time then.

The texture was much heartier than regular pasta much like comparing heavy grain wheat bread to white bread. I did not notice too much difference in flavor but my taste buds are not very sophisticated and I will pretty much eat anything.

I do not remember what I paid for the Dreamfields. I don’t shop I purchase…if it looks good or interesting I 'll try it.

Hope this helps.

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
A 52-gram (2-ounce) serving of Dreamfields Pasta includes 42 grams of Total Carbohydrates, of which 37 are rendered non-digestible by a “fiber blend” process. There is, of course, a patent pending. The process leaves only 5 digestible carbs per serving,[/quote]

Hrm.

It sounds quite interesting. . . but the whole ‘non-digestible’ thing worries me a little bit. I remember when Lay’s came out with their fat free “Wow” potato chips a while back, with the revolutionary ‘olestra’ being used in place of the fat.

Olestra being a non-digestible fat substitute.

Anyone who ate more than a few potato chips at a time quickly learned that non-digestible means that its about 10 times more effective than fiber as a laxative, and it also has the side-effect of leeching nutrients from your body as it passes through.

I’m willing to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. . . for now. I don’t think I’ll try eating large quantities of this stuff at one sitting, though. :wink: