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Inside one of Italy's leading decaffeination centers.

In the countryside around the famed Italian city of Parma, you can find more than cheese. You can find Verwerkaf to be exact, one of Italy's leading decaffeination centers.

The company was rounded in 1961 and is managed to this day by members of the same family who participated in the original partnership, led now by Antonio Terrani. The company is preparing decaffeinated green coffees and roasted products, ground or whole bean, in a variety of packaging formats for clients throughout Italy and abroad.

Verwerkaf works for more than 150 customers at any given time. Outside of Italy, Verwerkaf decaffeinates for companies in Spain, Portugal, the U.S., Switzerland, and Austria. In Italy, its client references include some of the bestknown brand names in coffee.

After decaffeination, the green product can then be delivered either in bag, big bag, or in bulk, according to a client's receiving capability. Verwerkaf will also roast, grind, and pack to order. Last year the company produced more than 18 million packs of decaffeinated coffee. There are four packaging lines in cooperation, in a combination of Acme and Goglio units.

The Goglio provides vacuumized packs as requested by clients, while the Acme units produce the popular single-service sachets that are principally for bar/care service. Actually, this item is so in demand, and such a specialty, that Verwerkaf is packaging non-decaffeinated coffee in sachets on a separate line.

The plant is laid-out and managed for optimum flexibility, which is an absolute requisite for working successfully with so many different clients with different roasting, blending, and packaging demands. Yet at the heart of Verwerkaf is the laboratory, an inflexible monitor of results. Here, a fortune in instruments and analyzers is constantly controlling for optimum results in caffeine, humidity, and residual solvents.

At Verwerkaf, the maximum caffeine content in coffee can not exceed 0.1 grain, the plant's normal production is of a coffee with .005 content.

The decaffeinated tea is held to a 0.1 caffeine content with zero level of residuals. Tea? Yes, for the past few months Verwerkaf has been initiating a tea decaffeination service, following two years of lab- oratory trials. When fully on line, the company will have an annual capacity of about 100 tons of decaffeinated tea.

In coffee, Verwerkaf can currently handle about 60,000 bags per year The company now ranks as Italy's second largest producer of decaffeinated coffee.
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Title Annotation:Verwerkaf
Author:Bell, Jonathan
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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