Noodles are usually made from common wheat, while pasta is mainly made with durum

Noodles and pasta are common food products that people often think are the same thing, but beneath the surface there is a lot that differentiates them, says a technical staff member at Cigi (Canadian International Grains Institute).

“Visitors to Cigi’s processing facilities frequently ask what is the difference between them,” says Kasia Kaminska, technician in Asian products and extrusion technology. “Even in industry, some people may not know. For example, if you’re milling flour and not aware of what end product it is used for, you may just assume that pasta and noodles are one and the same.”

“Pasta is also often sold as a dry product on the shelf and is usually eaten warm either by boiling or baking it,” Kaminska says. “Noodles can be sold fresh, dried, parboiled, steamed, deep fried — there are so many different ways that they are produced and sold. Also they can be eaten either hot, cold, or in a stir-fry.”

Where the difference between the two may be detected is through taste and texture, she says. Quality pasta has an “al dente” texture where it is soft on the outside but firm at its core.

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