The company directly verifies the reliability of its suppliers by permanently performing audit checks. Furthermore, it applies the necessary protections to safeguard the company itself and to offer its customers a healthy and genuine product that complies with the most restrictive European standards concerning extra virgin and vegetable oils. Raw materials are purchased only from the certified suppliers that hold a long-term business relationship with Santagata. In order to be approved by the company, each and every lot of oil is first tested by the internal Panel for a sensory analysis. Furthermore a certain amount of oil is sent to the laboratory of the Consortium the Santagata company is part of for further tests, and only when the resulting chemical and physical parameters meet the required standards the oil is finally unloaded from the tanker truck.
For each oil sample tested, there are tens of chemical and physical parameters that are taken into account and analysed, and they fall into two main categories, the quality and the purity parameters. The meticulous research that is carried out aims at revealing potential frauds or sophistications of the product that could not be revealed only through tasting.
Parameters of quality
The parameters that fall into this category are: acidity level, hydrogen peroxide number and UV spectrophotometric constant. They collectively reveal the level of hydrolytic and oxidizing alteration, both primary and secondary, of oil. These values are used to understand the goodness of the raw material, its authenticity and indirectly the “freshness” of the oil.
Parameters of purity
The analysis of both the glyceridic fraction and of some components of the unsaponifiable fraction indicators (such as sterols, aliphatic and triterpenic alcohols, waxes) enables to verify that the analysed product perfectly reflects the concerned vegetable oil spectrum; it also enables to prove that the analysed oil has not been sophisticated with oils of lesser value.
The Santagata company pays particular attention to transparency; in fact it provides every lot of oil that is purchased by its customers, with the results of the performed tests. In addition to this, the enterprise offers to those who make request for it, the opportunity to get the report of the official tasting that is performed according to a validated method. To guarantee the highest level of impartiality the report is issued by the Genoa Bureau of Customs. As concerns the raw materials, their story is traced from the olive to the bottled product thanks to the SIAN system (National Information System for Agriculture).
Every day a member of the Santagata team is exclusively devoted to updating and uploading all the oil movements of the company on the web portal of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies. This method is extremely accurate, as it traces even the fractions of a kilogram contained in all the tanks that have been registered under the Decrees no. 8077/2009 and n° 16059/2013 of the MiPAAF (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies).