Pasta Armando: 100% Italian Wheat & Production from Farmers to Factory

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When it comes to pasta, there are too many misconceptions and many foreigners don’t really get the value of a high-end product created following rigorous and controlled processes: pasta are not equal and the big difference a consumer feels is the consistency which means if and how the pasta gets overcooked or undercooked. When it comes to pasta, in fact, it is always difficult to understand when a product can be defined as a quality one and when it is not and the basis of the definition is the primary element: the grain used which, together with the processing techniques, make a pasta better than another one.

Pasta Armando is a real project with the same name, “Grano Armando”, promoted by Syngenta and Pastificio De Matteis which provides a real controlled chain from the first to the last step, starting  from the choice of durum wheat to the actual production of the pasta, in the Flumeri factory, Irpinia, South of Italy. The Armando grain from which the homemade pasta Armando originates is certainly part of that type of short-chain and guaranteed products that make the Made in Italy so special.

Pasta Armando and Grano Armando: the project

Pasta Armando and the homonymous grain have been created by the De Matteis Agroalimentare pasta factory of Flumeri, Irpinia (South of Italy), which a few years ago decided to refresh the grain and pasta industry by integrating a mill directly into the plant in order to define a production process that allows to create a high quality and 100% Italian pasta.

Not only this but also the choice of entrusting small local growers who cooperatively provide their grain to De Matteis by making Armando pasta a 100% Italian product. The grain is in fact cultivated on an area of more than 12,000 hectares, and almost 900 farms are involved almost everywhere in Italy.

The choice of De Matteis, carried out thanks to the support of Syngenta, is simple: leverage small Italian farmers, often penalized by the excessive import of durum wheat from abroad, proposing to them a contract that provides a minimum guaranteed price not subject to oscillations of a market with a proportional increase based on the quality of the grain produced. Grain is always certified by the parameters set by Syngenta, which also provides the expertise required for the farmers to produce a high-end product. Once these parameters have been defined, the De Matteis pasta factory deals with grain processing and the pasta production, which is then exported all over the world. A short, controlled and integrated supply chain that assures total control of the grain processing process in pasta.

The sustainable model of Pasta Armando

In the Italian agri-food industry where workers’ remuneration is often endangered by the presence of foreign actors and an unstable market linked to variables of different types (weather, demand, etc), the model put up by De Matteis for Pasta Armando becomes virtuous when we consider all the actors in the field and the mutual support they receive and offer at the same time; a model that benefits not only the production process but also the local economy with a new induction and the entry into the market of young and innovative forces.

In the first six years, the project provided farmers with a 42% yield increase and 123% productivity. National simulations also show that Armando is a virtuous and exportable production model in other territories.

The quality of the pasta and the so-called Armando regulation

How do you recognize a quality pasta? In Italy, pasta is defined as quality by law when it reaches a protein content of 12.50%. The so-called Armando regulation, which regulates the production of pasta, provides a minimum wheat protein content of 14.5% in order to obtain a pasta that keeps cooking and always at the tooth.

Pasta Armando sizes and where to find it

24 sizes of 100% Italian pasta, bronzed and slowly dried. Genuine and rough formats and a 100% natural and biodegradable packaging. Pasta Armando is distributed in large retailers and supermarkets and also available for online shopping; click here to find the nearest store in your home or to buy Armando online. Abroad, Germany and Japan are the countries that most married the project.

[The above article has been written with the Syngenta Italia during the project From Plate to Seed to discover how pasta is made]

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Categories: Travel & Food
Article written by Veruska Anconitano aka La Cuochina Sopraffina
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