Space and global markets: Italian pasta takes center stage

Ax 3 by Axiom Space has catapulted one of Italy's culinary symbols into the hands of astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Concurrently, 2023 witnessed a historic surge in exports tallying 4 billion euros
Space and global markets: Italian pasta takes center stage

Recent Italian pasta’s cosmic ascent follows a resounding triumph in global markets, boasting yet another record-breaking export feat. In 2023, Italian pasta not only breached the four-billion-euro threshold in export sales but also exhibited a commendable 5% upswing compared to the preceding year.

These revelations stem from the Italian farmers association Coldiretti’s insightful projection, drawing on Istat data. The disclosure coincides with the departure of Axiom Space’s Ax 3 mission, which recently propelled this quintessential symbol of Italian gastronomy into orbit, destined for consumption by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The Italian pasta industry, intricately woven into a supply chain generating 3.6 million tons of product, underscores its economic significance with a cumulative value nearing 7 billion euros.

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Italy claims the top spot in pasta consumption, with individuals averaging 23.1 kilograms annually, outpacing Tunisia, the runner-up, with 17 kilograms. Other contenders in this culinary ranking include Venezuela (12 kg), Greece (11.4 kg), Chile (9.5 kg), the United States (8.8 kg), Argentina (8.6 kg), and Iran (8.5 kg).

Beyond its terrestrial triumphs, this space mission assumes a pivotal role in endorsing the candidacy of Italian cuisine for UNESCO heritage status. Additionally, the cosmos may soon witness the integration of extra virgin olive oil into astronauts’ diets, courtesy of its enduring nutritional and health attributes. These qualities have proven resilient through experimentation on samples retrieved from the International Space Station earlier this year. Preliminary data suggests that specialized vacuum-sealed packaging could ensure the preservation of extra virgin olive oil within the ISS for an initial period of at least six months.

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