IDA S.r.l is a typical example of Italian entrepreneurial skills that were able to evolve over the decades in order to respond to precise market needs.
The business dates back to the end of the Second World War, when Pietro Gemma, the founder, started his own company by producing rapeseed oil.
In 1947, the rising penury on the sugar market and the strong increase in the demand for it pushed the company to a first change in its strategy with the processing of sugar beets to produce sugar and syrups.
The company also contributed during the Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) to the request to supply the city with foods by providing the Berlin Airlift with dehydrated vegetables - such as onions, carrots, cauliflowers, etc.
Later, the company decided to focus the business on the production of dehydrated beets for coffee substitutes.
However, the real change was caused by steady increase in the price of beets, which pushed the company to a further paramount change in its strategy and the beginning of the production of dehydrated vegetable powders, that still represent the company’s core business.
Most recently, in 2005, the company opened a new production plant in Piedmont, a region in northwest Italy. The site is in San Giuliano Nuovo, Alessandria, covering a 30 000 sqm area, 9000 m2 of which are occupied by the factory. With its 300-meter length, the production line is one of the longest in Europe and it is completely stainless.
Thanks to the high level of automation, operators working on the line have the sole task of monitoring the operations. Finished and semi-finished products are stocked in warehouses that have been fully equipped to optimally preserve dehydrated foods. Goods can be quickly loaded on trucks thanks to dock levellers.
Dehydration: the best way to retain all nutritional properties of vegetables
Vegetables have always played a significant role in human nutrition: they meet the most of our daily needs of minerals and vitamins and supply certain constituents in which other food materials are deficient. Moreover, the wide range of
different colours, tastes and textures make them attractive for most consumers and the food industry.
Dehydration is a technique traditionally used to preserve foods and retain all main nutritive and organoleptic qualities of raw fresh vegetables.
IDA is specialised in the production of dehydrated vegetable powders. The line includes dried spinach, parsley, rocket, barley grass and a range of other vegetable specialties.
Dehydrated spinach powder has been the flagship product since 1947. Spinach flour is mainly used in the production of green pasta.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable, scientifically known as Spinacia oleracea. The plant belongs to the Amaranth family. Originally of Persia, it has been used by various cultures throughout history, notably in Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern and South-East-Asian areas.
It is very rich in nutrients and antioxidants and considered to be very healthy; it is also delicious, either on its own or in other dishes, consumed cooked or raw and used in almost every cuisine across the world.
Spinach consists of 91.4% water, 3.6% carbs and 2.9% protein. There are 23 calories in 100 grams (3.5 oz) of spinach. Most of the carbs in spinach consist of fiber (insoluble). Spinach also contains 0.4% sugar, mostly glucose and fructose
From a nutritional point of view, fresh spinaches are a very interesting source of over twenty vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients: protein, iron, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, sodium, folic acid, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, beta-carotene, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, carotenoids, niacin, chlorophyll, antioxidants, lutein, phytochemicals, and lipoic acid.All these nutrients can be retained and not be wasted if fresh leaves are submitted to dehydration.
A modern proprietary dehydration plant
Dehydration is a preservation process that ensures that all main nutritive and organoleptic qualities of raw fresh vegetables are properly retained in the dehydrated product.
Preservation by dehydration is a very ancient process, and dehydration of vegetables by sun-drying is the oldest technique known.
Modern vegetable dehydration techniques yield products that have better flavour, colour, aroma, rehydration, acceptability, etc. in comparison to sun-dried dehydrated products
Dehydration preserves the vegetable because it reduces its moisture content, therefore avoiding or limiting the microorganism growths and chemical reactions. The removal of the water facilitates the transport, the storage and the management of the final product, both if aimed at direct consumption or as an ingredient for other formulations.
IDA’s dehydration process includes different steps, starting from harvest: fresh raw vegetables come exclusively from Italian farms that can guarantee total traceability and that are all located in different regions of the Italian territory.
Once fresh spinaches arrive to the factory, they are subjected to sever quality controls.
If the quality control stage is positively passed, then raw vegetables are washed and dehydrated in one of the longest production lines in the world, 300 meters long.
The bacterial charge is particularly limited thanks to the proprietary dehydration process which has been fine tuned by the company.
Dehydrated spinaches are available in different references such as spinach powder, spinach powder baby food, organic spinach powder, spinach granules, spinach leaves 1-4 mm and blanched spinach leaves.
Dehydrated spinaches are mainly used in application as coloured pasta (green pasta), fresh filled pasta, soups, baby foods, vitamin supplements, creams and sauces.
Total traceability and analysis
Colour and colouring power.
Spinach powder is a natural colouring. It is not only the colour to play a key role but also the colouring power. Analyses performed by IDA laboratories show the colouring power for every single batch so that this value can be kept under
control to guarantee a constancy in final and finished products. Other different parameters are checked by the in-house laboratory in order to guarantee the highest quality standards and customer satisfaction.
All products are traced from seeding to shipment: the complete traceability grants the compliance with the laws in force in the countries where the product is sold for what concerns the maximum levels of pesticide residues.
Humidity and granulometry
Humidity and granulometry are constantly monitored to ensure consistency in the final product. The in-house chemical analysis laboratory is continuously involved in testing products in order to guarantee the highest quality standards
Total traceability, the highest quality, process data recording and continuous laboratory analysis on final products make IDA one of the most experienced dehydration companies in the world, with products exported in more than 40 countries.
IDA Srl is certified according to ISO 22000, organic certified and Kosher; dried spinach powder is Kosher for Passover certified.
Companies in North American can source IDA products from Faravelli, an Italian company that has distributed ingredients since 1926 but only moved into the US market in 2014.
Today, Faravelli serves the North American food and nutraceutical sectors from its operative office in Decatur, Georgia.