A collaboration of universities in Australia and Italy hopes to result in a “super spaghetti” made from durum wheat that will benefit the health of pasta eaters everywhere.

The scientists will study how the growth of the wheat affects starch and dietary fiber content, in the hopes of producing a pasta with more dietary fiber.  The second will examine the roles played arabinoxylans and beta-glucans, two major components of dietary fiber, in the quality of the pasta.

“The term ‘super spaghetti’ is beginning to excite scientists, nutritionists and food manufacturers around the world,” associate professor Rachel Burton, chief investigator on both projects, said in a statement.

The studies hope to increase the health benefits of pasta, making it useful in reducing the risk of heart diseasef or colorectal cancer, but they also hope to improve the quality of the pasta  as well.

The studies are being run by the ARC Centre of Excellence at the University of Adelaide, which hopes to bring together complimentary expertise and resources from around the globe.

“Being able to sell high-quality South Australian durum wheat within a competitive market like Italy could bring economic benefits. Approximately 27kg of pasta is consumed per year per person in Italy, compared with just 4kg per person in Australia,” said the centre’s director, professor Geoff Fincher, in a statement.