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This question was posed by my biochemistry professor at the end of a class and then never answered.

What I've gathered is that:

  1. It has something to do with the denaturing of a protein, since we were on the subject of denaturing that lecture.

  2. It most likely involves gluten, because that's the main protein in wheat. And, from personal experience of making glue, gluten is very sticky.

  3. The answer might involve hydrophilic/hydrophobic interactions, because those interactions are disturbed during the denaturing process.

Any ideas?

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  • $\begingroup$ My intuition is that most "stickiness" is caused by hydrogen bonding. $\endgroup$ – Ben Norris Dec 3 '14 at 11:34
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After cooking, pasta has a lot of free surface starch ready to bond with things. This is why we rinse well after cooking to remove extra starch and cool down the pasta to prevent it from producing more surface starch.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does this tie in at all with proteins and denaturation? $\endgroup$ – John Snow Dec 4 '14 at 0:00
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    $\begingroup$ Pasta contains starch (carbohydrate). It has nothing to do with proteins. $\endgroup$ – Yomen Atassi Dec 4 '14 at 7:03

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