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Developing a Kernza® Pasta

After our success in launching our Kernza® Crackers and planning out a true Perennial Pantry, we've put on our problem solving hats and figured out how to make dry pasta. 

Pasta extruders are pretty expensive machines, and we weren't expecting to make the investment until 2023. However, we lucked out this spring when we found a commercial pasta extruder on the local Craigslist site at a used commercial kitchen equipment wonderland. They didn't know if it worked, it was from 2001, and the cutting tool had broken off. But, the price was right and we like to fix things, so we jumped!

Extruding is relatively straightforward - calculate hydration, add ingredients, mix, and extrude. We needed a new bronze die to make short pasta and to fix the cutting head, but this was quickly accomplished. Most of our development efforts over the last 2 months have been drying related. Dry pasta needs careful management during drying to not crack and to reach appropriate strength to hold up to boiling water. We ran small tests in our drying conicals, built three versions of a drying ramp, talked with pasta experts in North Dakota, tasted many commercial examples, constantly monitored moisture, and determined our own drying curve and process. 

Curious what this looks like? Follow along visually below!

Ready to cook up our delicious pasta at home? Pre-orders go live July 21st!

Kernza Campanelle Pasta!

Our Pasta Extruder

Our Campanelle Die

Drying System V1

Pasta Dryer V2

Pasta Quality

Compostable Bags

Dryer V3

What's Next? A True Perennial Pantry

After developing and launching our Kernza® Crackers this spring, we've been working to expand our production capacity and our product offerings. 

We need more tools during cracker production to make it sustainable. For our initial batches, we needed to use a different commercial kitchen, and our lamination process is time intensive. We've purchased a new dough production conveyor table to make things easier, as well as our own ovens and mixer. We aren't ready for constant cracker availability yet, but are working on it! Here's a video of our new table:

We've also been acquiring other new tools in order to offer a true Perennial Pantry! We have a pasta extruder, and are working on our first Kernza® pasta. We have a grain puffer, and are figuring out puffing in order to make a granola. We've been pressing Winter Camelina oil, cleaning Sainfoin, a perennial bean, experimenting with Perennial Wheat, and working on Kernza tortillas.

Why so many new products? We're working towards launching The Perennial Share, a pantry subscription (or CSA), offering a monthly box of pantry staples, made with regenerative ingredients like Kernza® Perennial Grain.

Curious to see more? Here are a few short videos as we run tests and iterate towards new, delicious foods.

Puffed Kernza

Kernza Pasta

Kernza Pasta Part 2: Short Pasta


Perennial Wheat

Let's Launch a Kernza® Cracker

Great news, our Kernza® Cracker is ready! Better news? We actually made 2 crackers for taste testing, feedback, and interest!

Check out our crackers for sale here, and see the rest of our videos from our cracker development series below. Video part 1-6 are here

Part 7: Figuring out our flavor

Part 8: Designing bags

Part 9: Troubles in production!

Part 10: Production solved

Part 11: We made 2 crackers!