Product Review: Barilla Gluten Free Pasta
Whether you’re Coeliac, gluten intolerant, avoiding wheat, or simply find regular pasta to sit a little too heavy in your stomach, there’s never really been a like-for-like gluten free alternative to pasta. That is, until now...
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS OF BARILLA’S GLUTEN FREE PASTA?
It’s pretty simple really.
Corn flour, rice flour, mono and diglycerides.
Woah, hey, mono-hwaht?
I know. I know. I was 100% with you there….Initially.
You can google it, but you’ll find some bloggers freaking out over it, wikipedia giving you a general understanding, and some ‘health’ sites warning you of these “bad” ingredients.
But let’s think about this logically for a moment….
Mono means one, di means two.
Glycerides are esters made up of fatty acids and glycerol molecules. One glycerol molecule attached to a fatty acid, or one glycerol attached to two fatty acids. The most common types of fat are triglycerides, but these are broken down naturally by enzymes to diglycerides and monoglycerides. Mono and diglycerides are used in manufacturing as emulsifiers. Something that binds certain ingredients together that don’t usually bind too well. Like oil and water.
But where do these mono- and diglycerides actually come from? They are extracted mostly from plants, or animal products, or they can be synthetically made. Typically by breaking down triglycerides into the mono and diglyceride forms, just like the enzyme gastric lipase does in our stomach to some of the fat we consume.
Should you be concerned? In short, no. If you’re enjoying some gluten free pasta in the appropriate serving size, as part of a healthy, colourful, and fresh-produce heavy diet, then no.
A little bit of an emulsifier to keep your occasional pasta flours together is highly unlikely to do your health any harm.
Plus, you get to enjoy your old favourites again, and not have it fall apart into mush when you cook it!
WHAT’S THE NUTRITION PROFILE OF BARILLA PASTA?
Per 100g, you’ll find the penne packs:
- 7g protein,
- 2g fat,
- 79g carbs,
- 0g sugar,
- 0g sodium.
Per 56g serve, you’re looking at roughly 200 calories (840kJ), so I like to halve the serve andbulk up the dish with vegetables, especially if I’ve had a less-than-active day.
HOW DOES BARILLA GLUTEN FREE PASTA TASTE?
The taste is just like regular pasta - no funny aftertaste, in fact, minimal flavour at all, ready to soak up all that delicious sauce you add to it!
WHAT TYPES OF GLUTEN FREE PASTA DO THEY HAVE?
In Australia, you can get penne, elbows and spaghetti.
WHERE CAN I BUY IT?
You can get it from Coles or Woolworths around Australia and other major grocery stores globally. You can find your nearest stockist here.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The pasta is $3.79 AUD per box from major retailers.
IS ANYTHING ELSE FROM BARILLA GLUTEN FREE?
Yes, Barilla also make gluten free pasta sauces to go with their pasta range. I've tried the Napoletana and the Bolognese sauce and they’re delish!
WHY IS THE BARILLA GLUTEN FREE PASTA RANGE GOOD?
They cook SO well, and it’s so easy to make! No wonder pasta is a staple for uni students and busy families - it’s practically fool-proof. But gluten free pasta was never that easy until now.
The improvements they’ve made in their product formulation really outshine other pasta brands I’ve tried in the past. You can find some that are a little more wholesome, but I’ve never had any success with them holding up to the cooking process, or matching the taste, texture and refrigerated shelf-life of the Barilla range.
Honestly, like 95% of all pasta, they’re made from refined ingredients, which are best kept to a smaller percentage of your total diet. However, when cravings hit, or you’re pressed for time, you can easily jazz up your pasta dish with a tonne of vegetables, and satisfying protein to get a nutritious meal in no time!
Plus, it helps fill the tummies of active people, or fussy mouths who want something “normal” to eat, without containing a long list of ingredients or anything known to be harmful to our health long term.
HOW I RATE THEM?
Based upon the above and used as an inclusion to a wholesome, plant-based, colourful diet, I give the Barilla gluten free pasta range:
- Nutrition - 5/10 (purely because they’re energy rich, without being nutrient-dense, just like most pasta in general)
- Flavour - 10/10
- Texture - 10/10
- Overall - 8/10
Have you tried Barilla's gluten free range? What did you think? I would love your feedback in the comments!
- Barilla Website
- Essentials of Nutrition and Dietetics for Nursing
- WHO Food Additives Toxicological Evaluation of Mono and Diglycerides