How to read the label on a package of pasta

Come leggere l'etichetta di un pacco di pasta

In a food sector that is sometimes difficult to decipher, the label remains the only reliable point of reference for the consumer. However, it does not always present the information that the public wants to know in a clear and understandable way, often causing disorientation.

According to a study conducted by the Imagine GS1 Italy Observatory , 94% of Italians read product labels carefully. Specifically, 63% check the expiry date, 44% verify the origin and places of production, 31% monitor the fat and sugar contents and another 27% examine the nutritional values.

To clarify any possible doubts, we thought we'd provide you with a guide on how to read the label on our pasta package, so you know exactly what you're eating.

The guide

The intent of this guide is to illustrate, in the most exhaustive way possible, our processing method, although it is not legally mandatory to provide such in-depth details.

Wheat: type, origin and place of milling

The label on a package of pasta sold on the market can sometimes hide pitfalls. It happens that you find the wording "EU and non-EU wheat" which indicates the origin of the wheat in a generic way . It should be understood that the raw material could come from any member country or outside the European Union without specifying the percentages . In our opinion, this is a formulation that is not very explanatory for the consumer.

We, however, believe that the origin directly influences the quality of the wheat, which is fundamental for obtaining high-quality pasta. For this reason, we use only and exclusively organic Italian wheat , specifying the regions of origin (Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Sicily).

Other information that should not be underestimated and that may be ambiguous is the words " Senatore Cappelli wheat " or " from ancient grains ". These expressions, in fact, do not always guarantee that the pasta is made exclusively with ancient grains or with Senatore Cappelli wheat. For this reason, the percentage of each type of wheat used is explicitly indicated on the Fabbri pasta package . For example, you will find “100% Cappelli pasta”, “100% Timilia”, “100% Spelled Dicocco” etc.

Finally, in line with a MIPAAF and MISE Interministerial Decree of 2018 , we believe it is essential not only to specify the origin of the wheat, but also to indicate the place of milling. This guarantees consumers that the wheat is grown in Italy and processed in Italian mills , which share our same values ​​and treat the product with the utmost care, through slow and careful processing.


Type of pasta and drying method

As required by law, it is essential to specify whether the pasta is refined, semolina (semi-whole) or wholemeal , in order to provide consumers with clear and transparent information on the characteristics of the product. This helps customers choose the pasta that best suits their diet. In general, both wholemeal and semolina pasta contain a greater quantity of fibre, mineral salts and vitamins than refined pasta.

We at Pastificio Artigiano Fabbri, to demonstrate our commitment to preserving the properties of the selected wheat, indicate in a clear and non-interpretive manner the temperature and drying hours used during processing . In fact, our pasta requires a drying period of between 72 and 144 hours (from 3 to 6 days) at a temperature lower than 38°C, which allows us to safeguard its organoleptic characteristics (flavour, aromas, consistency) and cooking characteristics. .
 

Additional information for greater awareness 

Since we produce an artisanal and non-standardized product, you will often notice an indication of a pasta cooking time range on the label. This is because the growth of wheat is influenced by climatic factors and the type of soil , resulting in variability in the semolina obtained and, consequently, in the pasta making . As with wine, the quality of pasta also depends on the quality of the wheat harvest.

Our pasta is a "living", healthy, artisanal product and must be preserved appropriately. We write on our label to store the pasta in a cool, dry place, with a temperature below 18°C ​​and a relative humidity of 65% . If these conditions are not always feasible at home, it is preferable to store it in the refrigerator .

Finally, we would like to underline that craftsmanship is perceived not only by the aspects mentioned above, but sometimes also by the irregularity of the shape, cut and color of the pasta . We are a small historic pasta factory, where the entire production and packaging (including the manual application of labels) take place in our single location, located in the central square of Strada in Chianti, where everything began five generations ago and where everything has remained exactly as it once was.

Conclusion

Carefully reading the pasta label is a simple but truly important gesture to make an informed choice and purchase a quality product.

The information on the label, such as the origin of the grain , the place of milling, the processing and drying method , will allow you to choose the right pasta for your needs , to support and enhance the tradition and passion of artisanal pasta factories .