Fida is a 100% Italian company. It was founded in 1973, starting from the intuition of making soft fruit jellies and today is owned by the Balconi brothers, entrepreneurs known in the snack industry.
The firm is located in Castagnole Lanze, between Langhe and Monferrato, lands historically known for products of excellence such as hazelnuts, truffles, spreadable creams and fine wines such as Barbera d’Asti, and Dolcetto d’Alba.
Initially known for Bonelle Gelées jellies, it later acquired and developed other historic brands such as: Sanagola, Gocce and Tenerezza.
Some years ago it acquired from Nestlé the most historic and famous Italian candy: Rossana.
Rossana is not only a beautiful woman’s name, or the name of the protagonist loved by Cyrano de Bergerac in the famous comedy. It is also the “Italian candy” par excellence.
Every Italian has surely eaten at least one Rossana in his life!
Our grandparents traditionally had a home supply to hand out to their grandchildren.
Rossana will soon be 100 years old.
It was created in 1926 by Luisa Spagnoli, an entrepreneur active both in the confectionery industry (as founder of Perugina) and in fashion (as founder of the homonymous brand).
Known for her elegance and sophistication, Luisa Spagnoli gave the name Rossana to her most famous candy.
Rossana looks like this even today, as her creator conceived it:
Elegant in its shape and refined in its unique and inimitable taste.
It is externally hard, has a soft and creamy filling and has always been dressed with the unmistakable red wrapping which has made it an icon.
The Requirements: soft and hard candies with creamy filling
Nuova Euromec has a special connection with Rossana and the die set to produce it.
For our founder, Francesco Rizzi, it was one of the most interesting projects – which he successfully carried out solving several problems related to the product:
- to guarantee a high percentage of filling.
- to perfectly contain the milky filling.
- to study and design a particular shape in order to satisfy the need for a high percentage of filling and a perfect sealing.
After taking over the brand from Nestlé, Fida faced the need to increase the existing production capacity, in order to implement Rossana in their hard candy portfolio.
The plant had to meet the highest modern standards of automation, hygiene and efficiency in combination with high production capacity. In addition to these characteristics, the new line had to guarantee the flexibility to also produce soft milk candies: Tenerezze (another historic Fida’s brand).
The product – typically obtained with a cut&wrap system – has a production yield not very high, which is usually around 1200 pieces per minute – depending on the cut&wrap speed.
The Solution: candy forming and cooling machine
For this project, Fida has entrusted itself to world leaders in the confectionery sector: CHOCOTECH for the cooking process and EUROMEC for the forming and cooling line.
To achieve the goal, we have supplied a high capacity Explorer line, capable of producing up to 1500 kg/h of hard and filled candies. The forming line is able to absorb the total production of Chocotech high capacity continuous cooker. In addition to hard candies, it is able to form also soft milk candies – like the famous Tenerezze.
To achieve the results requested by Fida, we had to pay particular attention to two fundamental points:
- The forming of very soft milk candies – which were previously produced only with cut&wrap technology.
- A very efficient cooling system, that allows to send continuously up to 1500 kg/h of high filled hard candies (Rossana) to the wrapping machines and very soft milk candies.
Going into the details of the solutions, let’s start with the forming.
1. Soft candy forming
The cut and wrapped candies always have a parallelepiped shape, because there is only a cutting action made by a blade and there is no die punch forming action.
The product – although very soft – is only cut in the form of a square or rectangular parallelepiped.
On the contrary, in the forming system – in addition to the action of the knives that cut the rope – we also have the die punches that give the shape to the product, through a compression action.
A forming system that guides the soft candy rope inside the die set, almost as if it caressed and cuddled it, in several stages, while cutting and shaping.
With the forming system, it is easier to change shapes (oval, round, square, rectangular, spherical) simply by replacing the die set.
A die set production speed is higher than that of a cut&wrap up to 5 times – considering the same product characteristics (weight and dimension).
The result is an increase of production capacity also for soft milk candies.
After the forming, we took care of the cooling.
2. Extended cooling
Before being able to move to the wrapping phase, it is necessary that the temperature of the candy and the filling inside, are reduced and stabilized.
Filled candies may be more likely to break – resulting in scraps and machine downtime – especially when treated with modern, high speed wrapping machines.
For this reason, candies with a lot of filling require a longer cooling time – if compared to solid candies without filling.
The filling inside the candy does not immediately receive the air conditioning benefits inside the tunnel.
It is necessary to have more time for the candy to stay inside the tunnel, in order to allow the filling to cool and stabilize – before wrapping.
In this way also the central filling takes some advantage from the air conditioning flow inside the cooling tunnel.
To meet all these requirements and to be able to transfer the product automatically and continuously to the wrapping machines, we have designed an upgraded and efficient tunnel.
The Result: automation and flexibility in candy production
Thanks to the implementation of these solutions, today Fida can count on a modern highly automated candy production department (from cooking to final wrapping). They can get products of the highest quality, using the best available raw materials and the most technologically advanced systems.
The current production can go up to 1500 kg/h, with a high production efficiency, thanks to reduced waste and a high quality forming of the final product.
Extreme production flexibility for hard and soft candies and the development of new products such as Rossana chocolate and Bonelle toffee.
Today Fida combines the modernity of its production department with the evolution of historic brands, reaching new levels of quality and production volumes that couldn’t be imagined with the old plants.
Best wishes for another 100 years of Rossana….. always with the same elegance and refinement since 1926.
Author: Mauro Gesti, Sales Manager.