LAW ON DRIED MUSHROOMS
Altre prescrizioni riguardano inoltre la raccolta e la vendita dei funghi freschi , ed anche altrimenti condizionati .
Provisions of law that regulate epigeous fresh and preserved mushroom pickup and marketing are in force today (Act 23/08/1993 n. 352 modified by Presidential Decree 14/07/1995 n. 376).
Detailed below are the changes that have been made in the sector of dried mushrooms:
- the sale of packs of mixed dry mushrooms is allowed
- it is compulsory to mention the scientific names of mushrooms on label
- the expiry date cannot exceed 12 months
- the allowed remaining moisture is between 10% and 14%.
- the qualifying description of dried cep mushrooms has become compulsory and is outlined by a Ministerial Circular establishing the different parameters of the defects allowed.
Moreover, other provisions concern the pick-up and the sale of fresh mushrooms as well as mushrooms packed otherwise.
TECHNIQUE IN THE SERVICE OF TRADITION
The tradition of drying mushrooms, a precious gift of the woods, in order to preserve them, has been carried out for a long time, and the sales area of dried mushrooms (particularly ceps) has already been developed for decades in several countries.
In the last few years our great ambition has been to develop new technologies in the respect of tradition, and we have fully endeavoured in this direction.
There are experienced pickers who search mushrooms in the woods, and fresh mushrooms are cleaned and cut by hand, then they are dried under the sun or in special ovens by the farmers. Finally, the raw material obtained is still carefully sorted out by hand by skilled workers: this cannot be changed.
Therefore, our commitment has been to foster the following manufacturing phases as we have planned specific machinery (unique prototypes), especially suitable for the product and therefore respectful of its particular nature. Needless to say that the whole cycle continues to be carried out at our premises in Italy, under the constant control and with the continuous intervention of our skilled workers, according to the traditional techniques of the sector.
This is the only way we can ensure that a top quality product is produced from the combination of tradition and technique.
Drying is an excellent system to preserve mushrooms; about 10 Kg of fresh mushrooms are required to get 1 Kg. of dried mushrooms therefore, it is clear that aroma and taste are particularly intense: dried mushrooms are therefore very suitable for the preparation of seasonings.
Today, in addition to ceps, packs of mixed dry mushrooms, that contain various spontaneous and cultivated species, are on sale.
FROZEN AND QUICK-FROZEN MUSHROOMS
The difference between these terms is the speed of temperature decrease in the product core; real quick-freezing is carried out quickly, while freezing is slower and reaches less low temperatures.
Both products replace the use of fresh mushrooms, apart from the consumption of raw mushrooms, like for all frozen vegetables.
The packs of mixed mushrooms, containing several different species, are also on sale on the counter of frozen products.
WORMS AND BUTTERFLIERS
Plenty of bugs infest fresh mushrooms in the woods, and, Dipterans are the most frequent; some species are more frequent in Spring, others in Autumn, others during the whole Summer cycle. Some affect the mushroom when it is very fresh, others when it is already rot: therefore, it is clear that this type of infestation is neither predictable, nor avoidable; sometimes the larvae leave the mushroom when it is drying, but sometimes they may remain inside the mushroom slice, if this is thick enough.
The mushrooms that are frozen, are often treated when they are entire, and the entire mushroom is likely to seem perfectly intact (though internally infested). The presence of this type of larvae (which are never alive) in wood mushrooms is nearly unavoidable, but above all, it does not have to be confused with a sign of degradation of the product.
Infestation in dried mushrooms after drying, is different as it shows that the product has been badly preserved (in this case larvae or butterflies will be alive)
Our company has been dealing in the mushroom sector for over 35 years, and is highly specialised in this sector, especially because we know the particular nature of the product well, along with the special care that it requires.
Traceability, i.e. following the product throughout its whole cycle, is the foundation of our quality system.
We start checking mushrooms from the beginning, in the manufacturing countries, where we are present when they are picked, and follow the whole process from the raw mushrooms to their packing, taking care of the mycological as well as quality and health aspect.
An experienced mycologist works at our premises everyday and continuous mycological updates are held for the selection operators, who are able to remove any fragment of mushroom species other than those declared on the label. Selection is carried out manually for any type of foreign body different from metal, while metal is removed by the metal-detectors.
Moreover, manual sorting aims at removing the sections infested by larvae or having an excessive presence of grooves made by larvae.
Besides, the regular microbiological checks, the search for heavy metals and many other specific analyses, aimed at verifying that the product is absolutely perfect from the point of view of hygiene and health, ensure consumers that the product has undergone the strictest checks in order to pass from the woods of the tradition to their tables.