Nestec, the research & development arm of Swiss food multinational Nestlé, has gained a US patent pertaining to its new fully cooked, shelf stable or frozen noodles. The fact that Nestlé is devoting resources to this area reflects its interest in convenience food in general and pasta in particular. The patent also encompasses the manufacturing process involved.

Protected under US patent number 6,242,032, the abstract reads:

    A fully cooked, shelf stable or frozen noodle product having a dry matter content between about 30% to about 45% by weight. This product contains a cooked flour or semolina of a starchy plant, softened water, a cooked starch, an ionic gelling agent, an emulsifier, a cation which has formed a gel with the ionic gelling agent, and an oil. If desired, an acid can be included to provide a pH between about 3.7 to about 4.5.

The first claim (of 20) is for:

    A fully cooked, shelf stable or frozen noodle product having a dry matter content of from about 30% to about 45% by weight, comprising a cooked flour or semolina of a starchy plant, softened water, a cooked stach, an ionic gelling agent, an emulsifier, a cation which has formed a gel with the ionic gelling agent, an oil, and a food grade acid.

To see full details of the patent, please click here.