We follow every step in the processing, from harvesting to finished product.
When the nuts are fully ripe they fall to the ground. Harvesting takes place from late August to September, and the method used depends on the location and the size of the farmed area. They can be picked by hand or by machine.
Drying is an extremely important operation, which is necessary to reduce the moisture content in the fruit and enhance its shelf life. The nuts can either be dried in the sun in a dry place, or the process can be carried out more rapidly in special driers heated to 30°/40° C. This operation results in stable, dry fruit which can be stored in its shell for more than a year.
The shells are broken into pieces and separated mechanically from the fruit using special plate crackers.
Once they have been shelled, the hazelnuts are separated and divided on the basis of their size: from 9 mm up to 15 mm.
These initial processes are carried out only on the P.G.I. Piemonte and Tonda Gentile Trilobata hazelnuts, while the other varieties and the almonds and pistachios arrive on site shelled and ready for use. The processing steps described below involve all the types of product.
QUALITY CONTROL AND ANALYSIS
We perform checks on quality parameters in our in-house laboratory on each batch of product to highlight any defects, carrying out moisture, cut and sizing tests. We use external laboratories to perform microbiological and chemical analyses on samples of both incoming raw material and finished product. The properties of the end products are also tested by a suitably qualified tasting panel before their release onto the market.
Prior to their release for consumption or processing, any foreign bodies and nuts with defects are eliminated using an optical sorter equipped with infrared and colour cameras, and then manually by our expert personnel following strict in-house protocols.
The nuts are roasted using tunnel and rotary ovens. We roast our products tailoring the process to each customer’s requirements, guaranteeing traceability and repeatability, and obtaining excellent results in terms of taste, aroma, crunchiness and shelf life.
After roasting, the nuts undergo further checking – both mechanically and by hand – in order to guarantee that the product is fit for purpose.
TRANSFORMATION INTO GROUND NUTS, FLOUR, PASTE, PRALINE PASTE
Ground nuts and flour: obtained by grinding and sieving roasted product. Product can be ground into different size grains, according to the customer’s requirements.
Paste: the nuts are ground and refined to obtain a product that preserves the primary properties of the fruit. Subsequent screening produces a uniform product with a fineness of below 20 micron.
Praline paste: made by adding granulated sugar to pure paste. A cream with a delicate, sweet taste is obtained when the mixture is refined.
Gianduja paste: made by adding cocoa and sugar to hazelnuts.
The products are packaged in compliance with current food packaging regulations, guaranteeing health and safety.
Shelled product: raffia / PE big bags / sacks.
Dry roasted product: composite bags.
Paste: PP buckets / tinplate / steel or HDPE tanks.