On the importance of processing conditions, product thickness and egg addition for the glycaemic and hormonal responses to pasta: a comparison with bread made from 'pasta ingredients'

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1991 Oct;45(10):489-99.


The importance of processing conditions, product thickness and effect of egg addition for the glycaemic and hormonal responses to pasta was studied. Healthy subjects were given test meals with an equivalent amount of available carbohydrate from extruded high-temperature dried spaghetti and three varieties of fresh roll-sheeted linguine (thick, thin, thin with egg) made from the same ingredients (durum wheat, water and monoglycerides). As a reference bread was baked from the same ingredients as in the pasta products. Glucose, insulin and C-peptide levels were measured over a 3 h period. Glycaemic, insulin and C-peptide indexes (GI, II, CI) were calculated using 120 min areas under the curves. Glycaemic index was also calculated using the 90 min area. Also studied were the rates of in vitro starch digestion. The four pasta products produced significantly lower peak values (glucose, insulin, C-peptide) and lower GI (90 min), II (120 min) and CI (120 min) than the corresponding bread. The rate of in vitro starch digestion in pasta was also slower than in bread. In contrast to the pasta products, bread resulted in a prominent hypoglycaemia in the late phase, that is a drop below fasting blood glucose level. Minor differences in metabolic responses also appeared in the pasta products. In particular, the insulin and C-peptide response to the thin linguine was accentuated in the phase around 120 min.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Bread / standards
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / standards*
  • Digestion*
  • Eating
  • Edible Grain / standards*
  • Eggs / standards*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Fasting
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Handling / standards*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Nutritive Value*


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin