Trip to Monini
At the invitation of Monini, on November 20-22 the United Foods team visited the heart of the Umbria region - Spoleto. During the visit, devoted to the new olive harvest, United Foods employees had a unique opportunity to witness the “birth” of olive oil by their own eyes, and also listened a series of interesting lectures about different themes from leading Monini experts, visited the plant, quality laboratory, bottling and packaging workshop, warehouse. There is the Frantoio del Poggiolo Monini In Spoleto, which is literally translated from Italian as "press for squeezing olives on the terrace." This is a multifunctional center of Monini. There are scientific laboratories, where Zefferino Monini, together with his staff, studies the quality of olives, the intricacies of creating rare blends and other features of the production of olive oil.
As disseminating extra-virgin olive oil culture has always been in Monini objective, the olive press opens the doors to olive oil lovers and gourmets wanting to find out more about the secrets of olive oil and the best cultivation techniques. Meetings, conferences, workshops create opportunities to find out more about Monini assortment. There are also a large modern kitchen, which opens up into a living room like a great stage, the source of inspiration for the culinary creations, which chefs make with Monini products. The center of the laboratory is a workshop, where Monini D.O.P. Umbria is produced.
Oil from all the districts goes to the Monini plant, which is also located in Spoleto, where it is bottled in stainless steel tankers, and each type of oil is in a special tanker. More than 1000 different lots of olive oil are delivered to the plant every year and it is only after the various checks have been completed that the oil is deposited in the storage tanks. Oils with different sensory characteristics and origins are stored separately. It is only just before packaging that the various oils with their different aromas and flavors are combined according to recipes or blends decided by Zefferino Monini for the purposes of recreating the sensory profile and quality standards set down for each extra-virgin olive oil. There is a testing laboratory with innovative equipment of such sensitivity that they can detect even a single gram of contaminants in a million liters of oil.
There are approximately 170 storage tanks on the plant. All made of stainless steel with capacities varying from 3 to 210 tons whose use varies according to the type of oil stored in them. Computers in the various spaces of the tank rooms and testing labs monitor the quantity of oil in each tank and follow transfers from one tank to another during the blending phase, stage by stage. Any oil transfers from one tank to another are recorded and an IT system linked to each tank records all the analytical parameters detected at the lab for each single tank.
The Monini plant in Spoleto has ten packaging belts and every day an average of 100,000 liters of oil is bottled with peaks touching 280,000 liters when there are three work shifts. Immediately before packaging all MONINI oils are filtered and clarified. These processes in no way alter the nutritional properties and quality of the oil but improve product conservation significantly by eliminating solid particles and residual vegetable water droplets from the oil.
A company Monini, established in 1920, unlike other Italian olive oil companies, that have become a part of international corporations, remains a family business. Today Monini is a full-cycle enterprise, i.e. "leads" the product from start to finish, because only in this way quality can be controlled, which is the absolute principle of the Monini family. United Foods sincerely thanks Monini for the opportunity to “touch” the olive oil production process and is proud to be part of the Monini Distribution Team in the international market.