MIXES AND IMPROVERS
This unit deals with semifinished products with a high service content, designed for pastry and bakery professionals. We research, study and test the finest raw materials that, thanks to our know-how, are mixed to create a wide range of solutions to meet all the needs.
Three production lines in different rooms keep baking mixes separate from those containing cocoa and cream powders, in order to guarantee a safe and uncontaminated product.
OIL AND FAT REFINERY
This core unit of Unigrà processes oils and fats from different plant origin, with an unparalleled level of specialisation: we can create the right fat content according to its intended application. The refinery also produces the raw materials that we use in all the other departments, in order to keep a high and standardised level of supply. We process up to 2,000 t of oils a day, complying with the most stringent quality and safety standards. They are refined to eliminate any impurity and acidity by using innovative techniques, technology aids and state-of-the-art services. The product is then ready for sale or to be used either as a raw material for in-house production or under nitrogen in a series of tanks.
What about the environment? Unigrà was the first company in Europe to implement “continuous dry fractionation”. This enables us, on the one hand, to avoid the use of chemical solvents (thus improving the production processes in terms of sustainability and safety) and on the other, to optimise our production capacity.
This is one of the most important units for Unigrà, with more than 350 t of margarine production every day. We take care of every single detail, from mixing, carried out in separate preparation premises for fat and water stages, to the in-line emulsion phase and the sending of the mix to crystallisers cooled below zero (giving the finished product the right rheological features of plasticity or spreadability).
This accurate process continues inside our automated refrigerated warehouses: here robot shuttles and stacker cranes handle the products, each of which requires precise and different seasoning times and temperatures. We put the best technology at the service of quality, for a flawless final result.
This unit is divided into 2 production lines: fondant and sugar paste.
In the first, sugar and glucose syrup are dissolved in water and crystallised under controlled conditions in order to obtain a fondant with excellent plasticity, viscosity and consistency.
In the second, the fondant base is used as a raw material to make the sugar paste. Different recipes create a wide range of products, coloured and flavoured with natural ingredients.
We select, roast, peel and package only the best hazelnuts with the care and expertise of who knows and loves this product. Some of these whole selected hazelnuts continue their production path and are processed in chopped hazelnuts (with different grain size) or hazelnut paste, intended both for sale and to be used within our production units (thus ensuring high and constant quality standards of raw materials). To guarantee the freshness and quality of the hazelnuts, they are only processed when required.
COMPOUND CHOCOLATE AND SPREADS
We produce compound chocolate and spreads standing out for their quality, taste and texture thanks to the skilful use of selected, processed and in-house produced fats.
Furthermore, the high level of technology of our facilities guarantees an incredible qualitative consistency of the product.
Great care is taken over every detail of this premium product, starting from the laser monitoring of the proper grain size of the chocolate mass, carried out by means of pre-refiners and roller refiners. Then, the product undergoes conching: up to 12 hours to eliminate the natural acidity of cocoa as well as to obtain the right flavour profile.
Lastly, moulding takes place in cooling tunnels up to 90 meters in length: tempered chocolate is cooled slowly and uniformly to perfectly crystallise the cocoa butter and thus ensure a flawless result.
WATER-BASED FILLINGS AND MIRROR GLAZES
By using key raw materials like starches and hydrocolloids, we make top-class water fillings and mirror glazes, as proven by the texture and consistency, viscosity and spreadability, grip and palatability, thermo-reversibility and clean-cut tests.
Liquids and powders are mixed in a reactor until they are completely uniform. Then, they undergo a specific heat treatment aimed both at giving the product the final rheological features and stabilising it from a microbiological point of view.
This unit deals with those products requiring preventive sterilisation and aseptic packaging to prevent microbiological instability and ensure a proper shelf life. After an initial mixing phase of the ingredients, the products are heated to a very high temperature for a few seconds and then packaged in aseptic Tetra Pak cartons or bag-in-boxes.
This is a particularly complex production process, where know-how and expertise are crucial to select the raw materials, formulate the recipes, handle the homogenisation stage with the proper process parameters to guarantee the right degree of emulsion stability as well as to choose the correct sterilisation standards and techniques.
Moreover, we also created a milk-free product line, designed for consumers who have milk allergies or intolerances.
ENERGY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES
Since 2008 Unigrà produces renewable energy through a 58 MWe combined-cycle power plant fuelled by bioliquids. Feeding the plant with bioliquids – crude vegetable oils and by-products from the food processing factory – makes it possible to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 70% compared to plants using fossil fuels. In 2012 the company set up a 1MW anaerobic digestion plant for the production of biogas, allowing the company to make use of other residues from the food processing factory to cogenerate electricity and steam.
Through these steps, Unigrà has increasingly improved its environmental sustainability, by creating its own in-house virtuous cycle that enhances almost all the residues from the production activities.
HIGH EFFICIENCY COGENERATION PLANT
Almost 90 % of the electricity consumed by Unigrà’s facility is self-generated by a high efficiency cogeneration plant. This plant enables to save approximately 11 million kWh of fuels per year: a milestone that led to the award of energy efficiency certificates.
One of Unigrà’s unit deals with the production of crude lard from pork fat tissues. Lard is then sent to the refinery to achieve the best qualitative parameters in terms of acidity, colour and smell.
The product is finally packaged in 250 and 500 g trays and 25 kg boxes.
SEMIFINISHED POWDERED PRODUCTS FOR GELATO
This unit deals with powdered mixes used by artisans to make the gelato base.
They are divided into 3 categories: white bases (for flavours like fiordilatte or cream), dark bases (for chocolate flavours) and fruit bases (for fruit flavours). Another calling card of this product is that it’s free of milk. For these reasons, the productive department is divided into 3 different and separated plants: one for the production of milk-free white and dark bases, one for the production of non-milk-free white and dark bases and one for fruit bases. Each plant is equipped with a transfer system, a mixer and a packaging machine.
For each production process, after the blending of the product, before the packaging phase, Unigrà collects some samples to carry out accurate quality controls to guarantee constant and excellent results.