World Pasta Day 2007 in Mexico


Ten years after the first edition of World Pasta Day, which this year will be celebrated in Mexico City, the leading figures of the world pasta industry reflect, with concern, on the effects of durum wheat crisis.
On the scientific front, the I.P.O. (International Pasta Organisation) – the body created to safeguard the image of this food in the world – presents a scientific document that focuses on the nutritional merits of pasta, as well as its value in terms of taste and practicality.

World Pasta Day, established in 1998 following the 1st World Pasta Congress held in Rome in 1995, now celebrates its first 10 years of existence. While on the one hand marking the completion of a cycle (the effective “globalisation” of this food), on the other hand, however, it opens a season marked by uncertainty. The anniversary in fact falls right in the year when the upsurge in the price of the commodity (durum wheat, which registers +140% compared to one year ago) puts in serious difficulty the producer industry of one of the symbol foods of “Made in Italy” products in the world.
For this reason, World Pasta Day 2007 – which will be held in Mexico City next 25th October – will offer an occasion to discuss the progress made in these ten years in the spread of a food that nutritionists all over the world consider the symbol of excellence of the Mediterranean diet, while at the same time also providing an occasion for an exchange of views on the risks that the availability and price of durum wheat pose with respect to the future.
Expected in Mexico for the occasion are 300 delegates of the major pasta producer and consumer countries and prestigious opinion leaders of the world of medicine and the food sciences.

After Rome, Genoa, Naples, Isla Margarita (Venezuela), New York and Barcelona, the world day dedicated to pasta thus returns to South America, one of the most important “strongholds” of the world pasta tradition.
One thing is certain, in fact. If little more than 10 years ago pasta was still the prerogative of a limited number of countries that, thanks to by-then consolidated traditions, knew about and “frequented” it (production was steady at about 6.4 millions of tonnes), today the +80% jump has led to the attainment of 11.7 millions of tonnes of pasta produced in 2006.
This corresponds to an average per capita increase in consumption of about 500 grams per year, meaning that average pasta consumption in the consumer countries works out to some 7-8 kilograms per capita.
Moreover, in order to confirm this itinerant course moving along the America-Europe axis, bastions of pasta production and consumption, it has already been decided that the next stage of World Pasta Day 2008, will be Istanbul, Turkey.

“Traditional diets, such as the Mediterranean and Latin American ones, represent the standard of success of healthy food models.” Starting from this premise, the I.P.O. (International Pasta Organisation) and Oldways Preservation Trust will present “Pasta for All: For Health, for Taste, for Convenience,” an in-depth scientific work, desired by the organisation, that systematises and updates what emerged from the conference “Healthy Pasta Meals,” held in Rome in 2004, at the conclusion of which a Scientific Consensus Statement was signed by over 40 experts, recognising, on solid scientific grounds, pasta’s fundamental role in a healthy diet.
Since its foundation in 2005, the I.P.O. in fact has worked to promote and protect the culture of healthy food habits in the world and to defend the healthy Mediterranean diet.

Doing the honours of the house will be Eduardo Monroy Carrillo, President of Amexigapa (the Association of Mexican Industrial Pasta Manufacturers), and Simon Nobile Olivo, President of the I.P.O. and of the Venezuelan industrial pasta manufacturers, while Oldways President K. Dun Gifford (USA) will introduce the scientific meeting.
It will fall to Oldways Vice-President Sara Baer-Sinnott to illustrate in concrete terms the research that has elected pasta as world food leader for healthy qualities, taste and practicality.
In this context, Hector Bourges (National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition) will explain how despite the fact that processes of globalisation have negatively conditioned our food habits, in Mexico a broad range of healthy food models tied to tradition still exists.
Still on the theme “pasta for health,” Cyril W.C. Kendall (Department of Nutritional Sciences of the School of Medicine of the University of Toronto), with his report “The Pasta Component of a Healthy Diet with Low Glycaemic Content,” will thoroughly examine the theme of the benefits for the organism deriving from the slow absorption of glucose, made possible by the consumption of carbohydrates with a low glycaemic content such as found in pasta.
Moreover, pasta is not only a synonym of healthy alimentation but also of taste and practicality. In this regard, Luis Alberto Vargas (Universidad Autonoma de Mexico) will concentrate on the role of pasta in traditional Mexican alimentation, with particular attention to Sopita de Fideo, the typical Mexican pasta.
In the course of the meeting the highly topical theme of durum wheat prices will be dealt with in a report on “Durum: Pricing and Risk” by William Wilson (North Dakota State University), providing an in-depth examination necessary to shed light on the structural causes that have led to the giddy increase in the price of durum wheat, with the consequent negative repercussions on the pasta industry.

The birth of the I.P.O., after the founding stage resolved at the conclusion of the 3rd World Pasta Congress held in Barcelona in 2005, was formalised in Rome on 25 October 2006 (World Pasta Day 2006).
Current members of the International Pasta Organisation number 25, among which two European organisations, UN.A.F.P.A. and SEMOULIERS, representing 17 countries (Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela). The President of the body is Simon Nobile Olivo, President of the Association of Industrial Pasta Manufacturers of Venezuela (AVEPASTAS), while the Secretary General is Raffaello Ragaglini, Director of the Union of Italian Industrial Pasta Manufacturers (UN.I.P.I.) and Secretary General of UN.A.F.P.A. (Union of the Associations of Industrial Pasta Manufacturers of the E.U.).
The I.P.O. was founded with the objective of promoting the consumption and knowledge of pasta in the world, safeguarding and promoting its image at the international level, including through correct information about its nutritional value.
Thanks to this new body, it is possible to ensure a better co-ordination of the activities of communication at the international level for the benefit and safeguard of the product. A first important contribution was made by the I.P.O. with the organisation of the International Scientific Colloquium “Pasta at the Heart of a Healthy Meal,” held on 25 October 2006 in Rome. Furthermore, the I.P.O. has set up a Scientific Advisory Board, composed of internationally recognised experts in the sectors of pasta production, medicine and food sciences.

I.P.O. International Pasta Organisation Secretariat General c/o AIDEPI - Associazione delle Industrie del Dolce e della Pasta Italiane -
Viale del Poggio Fiorito 61 00144 Roma, Italia Tel. +39 06 8091071 Fax +39 06 8073186 -