STORING THE RAW MATERIALS
Fiorentini Firenze is one of the biggest storage centers for extra virgin olive oil in Italy with a capacity of almost 8 million liters at a temperature guaranteed by an air conditioning system (18-22 °C).
The company’s storage capacity is equal to 7,164 tons which is necessary for processing activities, divided into 69 stainless steel silos of different capacities (from 16 to 500 tons).
In order to ensure qualitatively distinct characteristics for each Extra Virgin oil, it is necessary to keep the various oils separate until they are bottled: other types of oil (rectified olive oils and olive oils) are stored in tanks in separate areas with totally different connecting pipes from those used for the tanks of Extra Virgin oils.
The storage tanks have sensors that visualize the quantity of oil contained, the empty space available and the handling status. Any movement of oil from one tank to another is always recorded. Eight pumping units are available for moving the oil with the possibility of eight cistern loading/unloading points. The oil loading/unloading speed is 60 tons/h per pumping unit.
The identity of each extra virgin olive oil originates from the blending process used.
This is the most important and delicate phase, certainly the one that requires the highest degree of sensitivity in terms of taste, professionalism and experience.
The composition of the Blend makes it possible to obtain a product which is ready for the bottle and that has the chemical and organoleptic characteristics demanded by the client.
Just like any other fruit, olives and their oils offer fragrances and qualities that differ greatly according to the variety of the plant, the degree of ripening of the fruit, the type of oil mill, the climate of the particular year and the storage conditions.
The blending operation is a practice used to express a multitude of sensorial peculiarities, as well as similarly varied chemical-physical profiles.
FILTERING AND POLISHING
All the Extra Virgin oils are subjected to a Filtering process and, immediately before packaging, to Polishing; this serves to considerably improve their preservability without in any way compromising the characteristics of freshness and the nutritional qualities.
During Filtering the oil is passed through filtering cloths which remove the impurities that give it a cloudy appearance.
Polishing, straight after bottling, represents an additional precaution: a final passage through a cellulose filter (common absorbent paper of a few mm thickness).
The Fiorentini Firenze production plant is equipped with 1 Galigani Filter Press that can filter up to 300 tons of oil a day, and a Polisher for carrying out carton filter polishing at a speed of 10 tons/h. The plant also has Sensors which are able to monitor:
The bottling plant consists of five production lines with an average daily bottling capacity of around 200,000 bottles.
The bottles used are new and kept in separate rooms, in suitable hygienic conditions. In any case, once they enter the packaging line they are subjected to additional precautionary hygiene and control measures.
PACKAGING AND STORAGE
An important characteristic of the new Fiorentini Firenze plant is that the warehouses, all completely covered, include different areas for different materials. There is the label storage area, the packaging and carton storage area, the bottle storage area – making it possible to proceed with the bottling and packaging of the oil with extreme rapidity and precision.
BOTTLE STORAGE AREA
Empty containers are stored in this area of the warehouses, including glass bottles, bottles in PVC and cans.
LABEL STORAGE AREA
This area of the warehouses, which is fully air conditioned (18-22 °C), contains the various product labels.
PACKAGING AND CARTON STORAGE AREA
This area of the warehouses, which is fully air conditioned (18-22 °C), contains the packaging in various sizes used for wrapping the products.
FINISHED PRODUCT STORAGE AREA
This area of the warehouse, which has a controlled temperature (18-22 °C), contains the finished products on pallets ready for shipping.
The loading and storing in the warehouse of each pallet is controlled by a software system in order to ensure that the handling complies with the shelf life of the product.