Each of the three plants of Pasta ZARA is provided with a laboratory for qualitative analysis where highly qualified personnel conduct an activity of control, verification and monitoring at different stages. On all incoming raw material, respecting specific plans of analysis and technical specifications which define in details chemical, physical, hygienic and qualitative characteristics, in conformity with the parameters set by law.
Controls on semolina
These activities consist of severe controls, before the unloading, on each and every tank of durum wheat semolina (main ingredient for pasta production):
– Verification of the documents; – Hygienic verification of the tanks used to transport semolina; – Moisture level in semolina; – Ashes;- Proteins; – Semolina colour (we test a natural colour index in order to grant to the consumer a standard colour for pasta); – Spots (we verify the presence of small bran pieces which can be naturally present in semolina, but within certain thresholds set merely for aesthetic reason); – Granulometric analysis; – Reologic analysis- Glutomatic (gluten – gluten index), Chopin (alveograph), Brabender; – Don (it determines the presence of Deoxynivalenol, that’s to say thricotecenes mykotoxin produced by a fungus of Fusarium species). Only after having passed the necessary tests, the incoming product is unloaded into Pasta ZARA silos and is released for use according to the detected characteristics.
The tests and the analysis
After that, the laboratory conducts a series of tests to determine the following parameters: pesticides, GMOs, microbiological analysis, aflatoxins, ocratoxins, heavy metals, filth test: all the above are conducted by an external laboratory, SINAL-certified (SINAL is a body which certifies analysis laboratories) and recognized by official control bodies.The laboratory, moreover, conducts tests on products under processing (during the drying phase) and on finished product (end of drying – ready to use), with meticulous care for organoleptic characteristics, and microbiological and chemical analysis. With this purpose a series of tests to determine the cooking time are conducted, together with manipulation tests aimed at verifying glueyness and cooking resistance.
Moreover, tastings, panel tests and shelf-life proofs.