“Pasta is shaped with a high pressure as 120-bar and packaged after dried several hours at 80-90 °C. Any living organisms passing through this process cannot to remain alive. Problems such as infestation may be caused by improper storage and storage conditions. To avoid experiencing these problems, shipment, handling and storage conditions should be subject to strict controls.”
Ranking second after Italy in global exports of pasta, Turkey is also quite advanced in terms of production technology. Therefore we interviewed with Abdulkadir KÜLAHÇIOGLU, Chairman of Pasta Industrialists Association of Turkey (TMSD) about silage in pasta production, packaging and storage issues.
Stating that pasta is shaped with a high pressure of 120-bar and packed after drying at 80-90 ° C for several hours, Külahçıoğlu emphasizes that any living organism cannot remain alive in the pasta after such an operation. Therefore, pasta is a highly reliable and durable food in this respect. However, problems can be experienced, if proper storage conditions are not ensured. Indicating that to prevent these problems, shipment, transferring and storage conditions should be subject to strict controls, Külahçıoglu answered our Magazine’s questions about storage and packaging issues in pasta.
Mr. Külahçıoğlu, pasta is a product passing through many different manufacturing processes. Packaging or wrapping take place in the end of the production process. First could you please tell us a little information about the other manufacturing processes of pasta?
I want to mention first; In fact, pasta, both in terms of manufacturing processes and as a food ingredient is “the name of the health on the table.” Pasta Industrialists Association of Turkey (TMSD) also ranks at the top of organizations which are struggling to give pasta what it deserve. Today pasta industrialists under the roof of TMSD manufacture pasta with international quality and food safety standards.
As for the production process; As you know the raw material of pasta is durum wheat. The most quality of the durum wheat is produced in Anatolia. semolina is obtained by grinding Durum wheat in the mills. Obtained Semolina is converted to the dough to be used in pasta production by being mixed with water. dough passing through shaping moulds in production lines receives the desired shape and drying process begins. Drying pasta is made in a controlled gradual manner. This can be done using high temperatures with developing technology. In this process, referred as high thermal technologies, more efficienct and better quality production can be obtained. The pasta dried in desired level, passes through the cooling unit and is transferred to pasta silos. Held in silos, Pasta is received in the packing department depending on orders; filled in packaging machines and packaged, and then it is ready for sale. This entire process takes place in a closed circuit untouched.
As you pointed out, the pasta is pending for a while after drying in silos. How long your products are stored in silos? Or how long it should be?
The process of waiting in silos can be named as the resting of pasta. Intensity occurs during the pasta drying step. This voltage is stabilized during the waiting silos. Waiting duration is dependent on the shape of the product and also it is usually equals to drying time.
What kind of silo is more suitable for the storage of dried pasta?
Closed silos causing any deterioration in pasta and equipped with filling and emptying equipment are suitable for storing pasta. Also silos should be suitable for food, made of easily cleanable materials that do not allow the accumulation of products.
What can you say about the technology systems used in pasta packaging and the criteria these must have?
First of all, the machinery to be used in packaging units should be supported with the equipment having the detector which can control every package against metal contamination.
Also high-speed machines that can label the requested information properly, regularly and rapidly for each package should be used in labelling step. Also, these machines must be supported with equipment that are sensitive to provide the desired weight, removing the package away from the system in case of wrong filling and can be controlled.
Today during storage and packaging, is the product contacted with the people? Or did the entire process take place in a fully automated process without human intervention?
It is possible to perform all the production process technologically untouched. For example, production facilities in Turkey are also equipped with latest technological infrastructure. The following steps after durum wheat’s entry into operation as raw materials are carried out in complete automation. All the steps from the entry of raw materials until the end of the packaging are done in a hygienic environment, closed system, and through computer-controlled machines.
What kind of packaging materials and types are often used in pasta packaging? What are the essential features /criteria in the pasta packaging for Food safety?
Like every food business, pasta industry is subjected to” Turkish Food Codex Regulation on Materials and Articles in Contact with Food”. This regulation determines all the features in in all stages of production, processing and distribution both for protection of human health in high level and for meeting the consumer needs, against materials and articles in direct or indirect contact with food, or possible to contact.
For food products, OPP+CPP, PE and cardboard packaging are used. These materials do not contain inconvenience in terms of human health when in contact with food and are environment-friendly recyclable materials.
What concerns the consumer directly is the design and label of the package. What does both the design as well as label content mean for the product and the manufacturer?
Packaging design can be considered as an interface that consumers and producers encounter. Design and label describe consumers what they buy. In the design, visuals and notifications are used to explain the basic highlights of the product to the consumer. In labeling, information appealing to consumers such as the content of product, nutrition pyramid, production and expiry dates are involved as well as information about the manufacturer. Business Registration number documenting that the manufacturer has done the production under the supervision and possesses the necessary conditions for the production is located on the label. Serial number on the packaging and information on production date offer opportunities to retrospective control the process from raw materials to the packaging stage in potential trouble.
From time to time the consumers complain on issues such as maggots or insects. First, is pasta capable of producing maggots or insects? If not, what can be the source of such problems? In order to prevent any problems in the food safety chain in what conditions these products should be stored after production and packaging until it reaches the consumer?
Pasta is shaped with a high pressure of 120-bar and packed after drying at 80-90 ° C for several hours. Any living organism cannot remain alive in the pasta after such an operation. The problem of infestation may be caused by improper storage and preserving conditions. To avoid experiencing these issues, handling, shipping, and storage conditions should be subject to strict controls.
The products supplied from the factory, making world-class production by using the latest technology, can be damaged if favorable conditions are not provided in the process until it reaches the consumer. Factors such as heat and hygiene that affect food products must be kept under control where the products stored, and storage areas and products must be kept under tight control to prevent contamination from problematic products.
At what point do you think pasta producers are in Turkey in terms of manufacturing technologies and automation as well as food safety and product traceability?
As I mentioned earlier, all manufacturers in Turkey’s pasta industry, carries out world-class production with major technological investments. Saving major budget for R&D studies on product development; our sector representatives also work in order to develop a high capacity of production technology. In this sense, progressing a great deal, our sector producers will come to a position to offer this technology to the world in the near future.
Manufacturers in the industry are a pretty good position in terms of food safety and product traceability. Considering label on the package, it has the technology follow production retrospectively until the wheat used trained staff to detect and prevent problems. The standards such as HACCP, GMP, ISO, BRC, IFS are used to ensure food security and to guarantee food security.