Effects of industrial pasta drying temperatures on various starch properties and the quality of pasta were investigated. A short cut pasta (fusilli) was processed from durum semolina and dried by high temperature (HT) and very high temperature (VHT) drying cycles. Starch properties were examined by Rapid Visco Analyzer, differential scanning calorimeter, X-ray diffractometer and polarized light microscope. Cooking quality was evaluated by determining cooking loss (CL) into cooking water, total organic matter (TOM) in washing water after cooking, and sensory evaluation. The X-ray diffractograms of semolina samples showed typical A-type diffraction patterns. The diffractograms of pasta products using HT and VHT drying were similar. However, an additional small peak appeared at about 20=20 for both drying cycles, indicating the formation of a V-type X-ray diffraction pattern. All starch granules of semolina displayed a clear "Maltese cross" under polarized light, but approximately 20% of starch granules of HT- and VHT-dried pasta samples either partially or completely lost their birefringence. Starch from VHT-dried pasta had greater RVA peak viscosity and breakdown viscosity than HT-dried pasta. Both gelatinization enthalpy and peak temperature of HT-dried pasta were significantly lower than those of VHT-dried pasta. The HT-dried pasta had lower quality scores based on TOM and CL values and sensory evaluation as compared with the VHT-dried pasta. The present study indicated that the changes in starch during HT and VHT drying may affect the pasta cooking quality. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.