Italsughero is a company with advanced technology that covers the entire production process from the selection and processing of the raw materials right through to the marketing of the finished product.


The innate properties of cork are preserved and enhanced in Italsughero's production processes.Every innovation is introduced with a focus on quality and environmental sustainability.

PRODUCTION OF TECHNICAL STOPPERS

Granulate


A technical stopper is one made from cork granulate obtained by a grinding process. The ground material is sorted into different particle sizes and treated to minimise the content of organoleptically active substances.

The moulding machines


We use our state-of-the-art moulding machines to transform the granulate into agglomerate bodies for the production of semi-sparkling wine and sparkling wine stoppers and microgranule stoppers, both of which are weighed to determine their mass.

The discs

SANITISATION AND X-RAY OPTICAL SORTERS


The discs used to produce stoppers for semi-sparkling and sparkling wine undergo a lengthy washing process designed to sanitise the material. They then pass in otpical and X-Ray sorters before assembly.

Assembly, lubrication and customisation


Bodies and discs are assembled, then brought to size and sorted on the basis of quality. The product is customised by fire-stamping and lubricated on the basis of the specifics of the internal profile of the bottleneck or the packaged product.

The X-ray inspection machine


X-ray inspection machines have been installed to give the finished product one last check before packaging. This technology allows us to remove products from the line that do not conform to quality standards. As a consequence we are sure we are delivering safe and high-performance products.

PRODUCTION OF NATURAL STOPPERS

The production of one-piece natural cork stoppers starts with the purchase of cork in the forest. The raw material must be carefully selected if a product of excellence is to be achieved.


Our company sources exclusively from selected forests in the Iberian Peninsula where the favourable climate ensures that the raw material gives the highest organoleptic performance.

The cork harvest, which starts in late spring and ends in late summer, is carried out by experts who carry out the whole operation without causing any harm to either the tree or the land.

The bark cutters, or scorzini, as these skilled workers are called, work with the sole aid of an axe using a method that has remained unchanged for centuries. After harvesting, the cork is stacked to mature, which must take place in the absence of humidity.

Gauge and thickness


Next, the material is sorted according to quality and thickness to decide how it should be used and then it is boiled to give it greater elasticity and eliminate its typical curved shape that would make it impossible to process.

Hollow punches


At this point the plank is ready to be cut into strips and punched. The stoppers obtained are sorted on the basis of their appearance using electronic optical sorting machines.

Stamping


The semi-finished product undergoes heat treatment to remove any undesirable organoleptically active substances and is then customised by stamping with a cold or thermoinductive die or high-definition laser.

Quality control


We use X-ray inspection machines to check all material before packaging and we discard stoppers with metal inclusions. As a consequence we are sure we are delivering safe and high-performance products.

LABORATORY

Our laboratory was opened in 2001 to complement the visual and sensory quality controls of the cork with a scientific approach using advanced technology.


Our laboratory was opened in 2001 to complement the visual and sensory quality controls of the cork with a scientific approach using cutting-edge technology.

The laboratory has participated in sector ring-tests for several years now. These allow it to compare itself with other test centres, make sure its work is up to standard and improve its performance.

Alongside its laboratory tests, which are conducted systematically for the sole purpose of checking materials at each stage of production, R&D projects are carried out aimed at both improving methods of analysis and designing new products and production processes.

Laboratory tests we perform

  • Transfer of oxidising substances and thiosulphates
  • Dimensional controls
  • Weight and apparent density controls
  • Torsional strength and angle
  • Stopper extraction (straight stopper)
  • Torque (sparkling wine stopper)
  • Powder Transfer
  • Relative humidity
  • Resistance to boiling (discs/agglomerate)
  • Microbiological controls
  • Headspace pressure measurement (bottled wine)
  • GC-MS analysis of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) and the main off-flavours
  • Neck glass profilometry

TECHNOLOGY

The osmosis process


Disc washing uses osmosis to extract substances that cause the most common organoleptic deviations from the cork and at the same time it sanitises the material completely. The washing plant is divided into sectors with a capacity of 5,000,000 and 3,000,000 pieces respectively.

X-Ray machines


The discs are inspected with two X-ray machines to eliminate those characteristics of the cork, such as high and low density, dry year, worm, ant, wood and so on, that in many cases lead to critical quality defects. At the same time, they identify metal contaminants of anthropogenic nature that may be present in the bark.

The X-ray inspection machine


X-ray technology is used to remove any foreign materials from the line which may be present in the technical stopper agglomerate (stones, cement, wood and high-density plastic and metal) or inside natural one-piece stoppers (birdshot).

Certifications


Italsughero's internationally recognised raw material and packaging certifications bear witness to its focus on quality.

BRCGS PACKAGING

Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standard Packaging.
This certification standard was developed to ensure safety, legal conformity and product quality in the packaging industry.

BRCGS certificate

Forest Stewardship Council.
This guarantees that the product has been made from raw materials sourced from well-managed forests.

FSC certificate

UNI EN ISO 14067:2018

CFP SYSTEMATIC APPROACH
This certification allowed the company to validate its management system for calculating the product’s Carbon Footprint, i.e. it calculates the carbon footprint for the life-cycle of each product manufactured by the company. The validation of the calculation system makes it possible to calculate the carbon footprint of any product, within a circular economy process.

UNI EN ISO certificate

CECAF

This certifies the quality of the Champagne wine closure.
Certification is only issued following a thorough assessment of the safety and quality of the materials used and the manufacturing process

BAR10 certificateBAR11 certificateBAR12 certificate

BRCGS PACKAGING

Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standard Packaging.
This certification standard was developed to ensure safety, legal conformity and product quality in the packaging industry.

BRCGS certificate

FSC

Forest Stewardship Council.
This guarantees that the product has been made from raw materials sourced from well-managed forests.

FSC certificate

UNI EN ISO 14067:2018

CFP SYSTEMATIC APPROACH
This certification allowed the company to validate its management system for calculating the product’s Carbon Footprint, i.e. it calculates the carbon footprint for the life-cycle of each product manufactured by the company. The validation of the calculation system makes it possible to calculate the carbon footprint of any product, within a circular economy process.

UNI EN ISO certificate

CECAF

This certifies the quality of the Champagne wine closure.
Certification is only issued following a thorough assessment of the safety and quality of the materials used and the manufacturing process

BAR10 certificateBAR11 certificateBAR12 certificate