Indications are that pasta originated from China, although there is evidence of pasta use in Italy during the Etruscan civilization (several centuries BC). The earliest written record referring to pasta was in 1279.
Durum wheat pasta is considered a healthy food being relatively low in fat, high in carbohydrate, and having good protein content. High-protein flours (soybean, pea, lupin,and chickpea) can be added to increase the protein content of pasta. To increase the content of minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber, incorporation of buckwheat, whole wheat, artichoke, and amaranth pastas all claim health benefits.
Durum wheat is the second most cultivated species of wheat after common wheat, although it only represents 5% to 8% of global wheat production. (src)
Several studies have suggested that pasta reduces the increase in blood glucose in humans following a meal compared to an equivalent load of other carbohydrates, such as white bread. This is considered beneficial in reducing the risk of developing type II diabetes.
The typical yield for the complete process from milling to pasta is as follows: 140 kg of durum wheat produces 95-105 kg of semolina, 100 kg of semolina produces 98.5 kg of pasta. There are three different types of drying temperature used:
low temperature drying at 50c for 18 h
high temperature drying at 60-75c for 8h
ultrahigh temperature drying at 85-105c for 4-5h (src)
Ultrahigh temperature drying has become common with benefits to quality such as increased pasta firmness.
The feed holes of the die inserts are usually teflon coated to produce pasta with a smooth surface while bronze inserts are used to achieve a rougher pasta surface, which helps sauces to stick better to the cooked pasta.
The bronze drawing ends in a slow drying process of the pasta, which occurs at low temperatures. This step, although it lengthens the production time, guarantees the pasta to preserve all the main nutritive substances of the wheat. It is precisely the wheat, in fact, that gives it a full-bodied and decisive flavor. (ex Sgambaro.Grano Duro Integrale Spaghetti)