[USCC] Pasta Composting

Bob R. compost@compostingcouncil.org
Tue Jul 23 11:24:03 2002


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You can actually figure out the C:N ratio from the information provided
on a box of pasta. The box gives the percentage of carbohydrates,
protein, fats and fiber in a serving. There is not much else to uncooked
pasta except a miniscule amount of water and relatively trivial amounts
of minerals and vitamins (relative to the carbohydrates, protein, fats
and fiber).

A quick check of my cupboard shows that a typical serving of pasta has
42 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams
of fiber. (at least the cheap stuff that I buy)

The carbohydrates would be dominated by starch (6 Carbons, 10 Hydrogens,
5 Oxygens). By weight thatís about 45% C and no N (or at least
insignificant N).

Fats and oils are generally 60 to 80% C. Assume 75%. No N

Proteins are where the N resides -- ranging from 15 to 18 % N by weight.
Assume 17%. The amount of C is 50 to 55%. Assume 52%

Fiber is tough to identify but I will guess that cellulose makes up a
major portion of it. Cellulose has the same chemical make up as starch.
45% C. Insignificant N.

So a serving of pasta has the following amounts of C and N (since we are
only concerned with ratios of C:N the serving size is irrelevant).

 Carbs -   C:  42 g x 0.45 C = 19 g C;      N: 0

 Fats -  C: 1 g x 0.75 C =  1 g C;     N: 0

 Protein -    C: 7 g x 0.52 = 4 g C;      N: 7 g x 0.17 = 1.2 g

 Fiber -  C: 2 g x 0.45 C = 1 g C;     N: 0

Adding up the numbers gives 25 grams of C and 1.2 grams of N. The C:N
ratio is roughly 20:1 by this analysis.

Of course, this assumes that the pasta you are getting is not mixed with
other stuff (e.g. tomato sauce and meatballs). Also, it further assumes
that if the pasta is cooked, the cooking process does not remove much
starch or protein (or it removes both in roughly equal proportions --
although probably a larger share of the starch has been removed).

This will make a good Q&A column for Biocycle. Thanks! ? Bob Rynk


"Thomas M. Carlson" wrote:

> Does anyone know or have an idea what the C/N ratio for pasta would
> be?
>
--
Robert Rynk
The JG Press. Inc. --
BioCycle/Compost Science & Utilization
419 State Ave.
Emmaus, PA 18049

610-967-4135 Ext. 27.
fax: 610-967-1345
email: rrynk@jgpress.com


Publishers of:
BioCycle; Compost Science & Utilization; In Business
Visit our website: http://www.jgpress.com

Search the article archives of BioCycle and In Business magazines
http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jgpress/


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You can actually figure out the C:N ratio from the information provided
on a box of pasta. The box gives the percentage of carbohydrates, protein,
fats and fiber in a serving. There is not much else to uncooked pasta except
a miniscule amount of water and relatively trivial amounts of minerals
and vitamins (relative to the carbohydrates, protein, fats and fiber).
<p>A quick check of my cupboard shows that a typical serving of pasta has
42 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fat, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams
of fiber. (at least the cheap stuff that I buy)
<p>The carbohydrates would be dominated by starch (6 Carbons, 10 Hydrogens,
5 Oxygens). By weight that’s about 45% C and no N (or at least insignificant
N).
<p>Fats and oils are generally 60 to 80% C. Assume 75%. No N
<p>Proteins are where the N resides -- ranging from 15 to 18 % N by weight.
Assume 17%. The amount of C is 50 to 55%. Assume 52%
<p>Fiber is tough to identify but I will guess that cellulose makes up
a major portion of it. Cellulose has the same chemical make up as starch.
45% C. Insignificant N.
<p>So a serving of pasta has the following amounts of C and N (since we
are only concerned with ratios of C:N the serving size is irrelevant).
<p>&nbsp;Carbs -&nbsp;&nbsp; C:&nbsp; 42 g x 0.45 C = 19 g C;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
N: 0
<p>&nbsp;Fats -&nbsp; C: 1 g x 0.75 C =&nbsp; 1 g C;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
N: 0
<p>&nbsp;Protein -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; C: 7 g x 0.52 = 4 g C;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
N: 7 g x 0.17 = 1.2 g
<p>&nbsp;Fiber -&nbsp; C: 2 g x 0.45 C = 1 g C;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
N: 0
<p>Adding up the numbers gives 25 grams of C and 1.2 grams of N. The C:N
ratio is roughly 20:1 by this analysis.
<p>Of course, this assumes that the pasta you are getting is not mixed
with other stuff (e.g. tomato sauce and meatballs). Also, it further assumes
that if the pasta is cooked, the cooking process does not remove much starch
or protein (or it removes both in roughly equal proportions -- although
probably a larger share of the starch has been removed).
<p>This will make a good Q&amp;A column for Biocycle. Thanks! ? Bob Rynk
<br>&nbsp;
<p>"Thomas M. Carlson" wrote:
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<div class=Section1>
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style='font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:Arial'><font face="Arial"><font size=-1>Does
anyone know or have an idea what the C/N ratio for pasta would be?</font></font></span></div>
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--
<br>Robert Rynk
<br>The JG Press. Inc. --
<br>BioCycle/Compost Science &amp; Utilization
<br>419 State Ave.
<br>Emmaus, PA 18049
<p>610-967-4135 Ext. 27.
<br>fax: 610-967-1345
<br>email: rrynk@jgpress.com
<br>&nbsp;
<p>Publishers of:
<br>BioCycle; Compost Science &amp; Utilization; In Business
<br>Visit our website: <A HREF="http://www.jgpress.com">http://www.jgpress.com</A>
<p>Search the article archives of BioCycle and In Business magazines
<br><A HREF="http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jgpress/">http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jgpress/</A>
<br>&nbsp;
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