In this facility, we work to offer semi-finished products with a high service content, supporting professionals in the confectionery and baking industry. We research, study and test the best ingredients which, thanks to our consolidated expertise, are skilfully blended to create a wide range of solutions which can tangibly meet the requirements of every single customer. Three production lines in separate environments keep the processing of baking mixes separate from those containing cocoa and cream powders. Opting for this kind of set-up is aimed at guaranteeing a safe, uniform product and avoiding contamination between ingredients and the presence of unwanted allergens.
Unigrà: all in one. From the production of raw materials to the creation of the finished product and the supply of energy, we take care of everything from one single location.
The production facilities
Oil and fat refinery
This is the heart of Unigrà’s operations.
This is where Unigrà processes oils and fats from a variety of botanical origins, with a unique level of specialisation. We can define the exact fat content for the specific needs of each application in which it will be used. As a result, we create tailor-made solutions for all our customers, not just those in industry. A fresh, quality-controlled product also emerges from the refinery which can be used as a primary ingredient in all the other departments. What is the result? A higher, standardised level of offering We process up to 2,000 tonnes of oils per day, in compliance with the most stringent standards for quality and safety. Using innovative techniques, technology and state-of-the-art facilities, such as systems that allow extremely low pressures and high temperatures to be efficiently obtained - we refine the oil to eliminate any unwanted components, such as impurities and acidity. The product is then ready for sale or to be used as a valuable primary ingredient for in-house production, stored under nitrogen in a series of tanks reserved for each production facility. In addition to the end result, we also focus on the environment. Unigrà was the first company in Europe to implement "continuous dry fractionation". In this way, on the one hand we avoid the use of chemical solvents, thus improving the production processes in terms of sustainability and safety, and on the other, we optimise our production capacity.
For Unigrà, margarine production is one of the most strategically important departments. Where do we make a difference? In the care taken over every single detail, despite the significant volumes. Starting with the mixing, which takes place in separate premises for the preparation of the fat and water phases and the in-line emulsion phases, to sending the mixed product to the crystallisers cooled below zero, which give the finished product the correct rheological properties of plasticity or spreadability. A process that we follow step by step and that does not end on the production line, but continues inside our automated, chilled warehouses. Here, robot shuttles and stacker cranes handle the products, each of which requires precise lengths of time and different temperatures for seasoning. Technology at the service of quality for a flawless result.
The facility is divided into two production lines: one to produce sugar fondant and one for sugar paste. In the first, sugar and glucose syrup are dissolved in water and crystallised in a controlled manner to obtain a sugar fondant with optimal plasticity, viscosity and consistency. In the second, we use the fondant base as a primary ingredient to make the sugar paste. Different recipes create a varied range of products which are coloured and flavoured with natural ingredients.
The starting point is a love of the basic ingredient. The production process in this unit only appears simple on the surface: we select only the best hazelnuts which we roast, peel and package, with all the care and attention they need and with the expertise of those who know the product and respect it. A part of these whole, select hazelnuts continues along the production path and is further processed into either different size grains or hazelnut paste, destined both for sales and for the in-house use in our other production facilities, guaranteeing once again constant standards of high quality of the raw materials. To guarantee the freshness and quality of the hazelnuts, they are only processed when required..
Compound chocolate and fillings
In the production of compound chocolate and spreads, the skilful use of fats - selected, formulated and produced in-house according to specific requirements - give the products an edge in terms of quality, taste and texture while advanced technology, cutting-edge production facilities and maximum automation ensure continual product quality.
To a premium product like chocolate, we dedicate extra attention. Every single detail in the selection of the basic ingredients used and the entire production process are taken care of to guarantee high standards of quality. Pre-refiners and roller refiners equipped with laser control ensure the correct particle size of the chocolate mass. Modern conches can automatically monitor the temperature and conching times, which last up to twelve hours in our facility, to eliminate the acidity naturally present in cocoa and thus obtain the correct flavour profile in the chocolate. Moulding takes place in a cooling tunnel up to 90 meters in length. The tempered chocolate is cooled slowly and uniformly to obtain perfect crystallization of the cocoa butter and thus ensure a flawless result.
Water-based fillings and mirror glazes
Versatility and quality for the confectionery industry. In this facility, we create ready-to-use products: water-based fillings and mirror glazes.
Texture and consistency, viscosity and spreadability, grip and palatability, thermo-reversibility and clean-cut: these are just some of the features that are carefully assessed during formulation and quality control. They are achieved by using the key primary ingredients of hydrated creams and glazes: starches and hydrocolloids.
Liquids and powders are mixed according to strict protocols in a reactor until they are completely homogeneous. They then undergo a specific heat treatment which has the dual goal of giving the product its final rheological properties and stabilising it from a microbiological point of view.
This is where the products are made which require preventive sterilisation and aseptic packaging to prevent microbiological instability, so as to ensure they are preserved correctly. After an initial mixing phase of the ingredients, the products are heated to a very high temperature for a few seconds and packaged in aseptic Tetra briks or bags in boxes.
A particularly complex production process in which consolidated expertise and skill are vital for choosing the primary ingredients, correctly formulating the most suitable recipes for this heat treatment, monitoring the homogenisation step with the correct processing parameters to guarantee the right degree of emulsion stability and choosing the correct parameters and techniques for sterilisation. Since we are always ready to respond to new market demands, we have also created a line dedicated specifically to milk free products, especially for consumers who have milk allergies or intolerances.
Energy from renewable sources
Since 2008, Unigrà has produced renewable energy through a 58 MW combined-cycle power plant fed with bioliquids. Feeding the plant with bioliquids - crude vegetable oils and by-products from the food processing factory - makes it possible to lower greenhouse gas emission by 70% compared to a factory powered by fossil fuels.
In 2012, an anaerobic digestion plant was built producing 1MW of biogas allowing the company to make use of other residue from the food processing factory to produce both electricity and steam. Through these interventions, Unigrà has, therefore, managed over the years to gradually improve its environmental sustainability by creating its own in-house virtuous cycle which now means it can exploit almost all the residues from the production activities.
High efficiency cogeneration plant
In Unigrà, our focus on the environment is supported by facts: about 90% of the electricity consumed by the plant for food production is self-generated in a highly efficient CHP plant which has been up and running since 2008. Given the efficiency of this plant, an estimated 11 million kWh of fuel is saved per year for which the company has been rewarded with energy efficiency certificates.
There is a new plant for the production of crude lard from pig fat tissue.
The lard is then sent to the refinery to achieve the best possible properties, in terms of acidity, colour and odour, for it to be saleable.
The product is then packaged in 250 and 500 g trays and 25 kg cartons.
Here we prepare liquid extracts of to prepare 100% non-dairy beverages and other products, mainly used in our products and especially those the Orasì brand.
The soya beans come from our fields. This means we have complete control over the supply chain: from the planting to the harvest and packaged product. Once harvested, the soya beans are carefully checked, assessed and screened. Once this selection has been completed, the ones that meet the stringent criteria are then cooked, ground and finally centrifuged to separate the okara, the fibrous pulp, to obtain an extract rich in proteins.
The same process is carried out for the rice grains which are exclusively grown in Italy. The rice is treated with enzymes that free the sugars in it: this makes the final extract naturally sweet, avoiding the addition of sugar in the finished products. The extracts obtained are then ready for use, to be sold or used in the various production facilities as top quality primary ingredients for all soya or rice-based products.
Semi-finished products in powder for ice-cream
In this unit Unigrà produces powder mixes for the artisanal Gelato market.
These mixes are used by the artisan to make the gelato-base, leading to mainly three categories: white bases (for cream and fiordilatte flavour), fruit bases (for fruit flavour) and dark bases (for chocolate flavour).
Another important distinctive point of these products is to be milk-free.
For these reasons, the productive department is divided into three distincted and separated plants, each of them including a raw-materials transfer plant, a mixer and a dedicated packaging machine: one for white and dark milk-free bases, one for white and dark not milk-free bases and one for fruit bases.
For each production, after the blending of the product, before the packaging phase Unigrà isolates some samples to proceed to meticulous quality controls to guarantee to each gelato artisan constant and highest results.
BIG IN SIZE
Over 67,000 m2 entirely given over to the processing of primary ingredients and creating semi-finished products for the food industry.
A series of tanks for storing 150,000 tonnes of oils and liquid fats; 35,000 pallet slots for finished products; 10,000 pallet slots for ingredients and 5,000 for packaging.
ORGANISED FOR MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY
All the production processes are completely automated and controlled by sophisticated systems.
The use of the latest generation, cutting-edge technology in all the production facilities.The use of the latest generation, cutting-edge technology in all the production facilities.
Because Unigrà can create tailor-made products based on specific customer requests.Because Unigrà can create tailor-made products based on specific customer requests.
Because Unigrà processes the basic raw materials in-house for its products.