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Federici pasta from princes.

FEDERICI was established back in 1888 at Amelia in Italy. This family owned company has re-equipped its production facilities and now has an output capacity of more than 120,000 tonnes of dry pasta a year. To give some idea of this output, one can say that it is roughly double the total UK consumption and yet Federici only claim to be the fourth largest maker of pasta in Italy. Fortunately for the Italian pasta makers the consumption of pasta is increasing all over the world, although consumption in their own country is now relatively steady. They export worldwide and in the UK Princes Foods market their products.

Pasta always sounds like a simple product is that it comprises just semolina from durum wheat and water but it is not quite as simple as that. Having made the addition of water, the mix is allowed to equilibrate then extruded and carefully dried, cut to shape or length and packed. The finished product has the advantage of being both nutritious and inexpensive. Even the water they use is rather special because it comes from the famous Sangemini springs situated close-by.

In Federici's newly equipped plant they have installed what is probably the largest spaghetti line in the world - it is capable or producing some 70 tonnes of product a day, although coupled with the other lines their total output would be more like 350 tonnes a day.

In operation they receive supplies of semolina on a daily basis from any one of up to 20 different suppliers and this material is carefully checked before delivery to ensure its specification is correct. The incoming semolina is mixed with water in one of two rotating units and passed to a transverse mixer before being allowing the mix to equilibrate. Outside they have installed six 30m high steel lined silos for storage of material. From these the raw pasta dough is passed via a 'live bottom' discharge system to be transferred to the pasta presses. They have three long pasta lines and three short pasta lines plus two special lines installed. Built as recently as 1987, the factory incorporates a die washing room and it was interesting to note that some of these were Teflon-lined to improve the finish of certain types of pasta.

Following passage through the drying tunnels, short pasta product is cartoned. From this point packed product is stacked into rail wagons that are moved by vehicle to the station just five miles away. Alternatively, the product may be held in their warehouse for a few days. Another system involves tipping dried product out of the drying trays through a 12-head weigher into open board trays. These are then checkweighed before being film-wrapped and loaded into cases via suitable case packers. No fewer than 9 form fill seal packaging machines have been installed to deal with their output. They again discharge packs through checkweighers and a metal detector is used as a final check for the whole case, and a pallet stacker is used to palletise finished product. Alternatively, pasta can be transferred by bucket elevator into temporary storage because the factory works three shifts producing pasta but only two are needed to package their products. As readers may know, long pasta is dried on hangers. Freshly extruded pasta is hung over the hangers automatically and cut to length before entering the dryer. After drying, pasta is passed through cutters that trim off the bend to create two shorter lengths that pass to bucket elevators then through weighers before being flow-wrapped in film material lengthwise.

As far as possible the owners of Federici have fully automated their factory to ensure output of highest quality product. Even the laboratory procedures are all electronic for speed, although full checks are continuously made by the more traditional methods that often take a little longer.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Dec 1, 1992
Words:640
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