Our excellent production chain
Nieddittas represents a unique case in the history of Italian mussel farming. It is a business that has grown to transform the dream of a small cooperative of Sardinian fishermen into one of the leading players of our fishing industry in the 50 years since its foundation. Our excellent production chain in the Gulf of Oristano is the place where Nieddittas quality sees the light of day, because the cleanliness and flavours of our sea are fundamental to bringing such good mussels to your table. However, that’s not all it takes to guarantee you a healthy and safe product. Those who choose Nieddittas mussels know that the product has passed through all the stages of the production chain according to certified quality procedures, and that they have therefore chosen a high-quality product. If you follow the manufacturing process that brings our products to your table, you will better understand why all mussels are black, but only the best ones become Nieddittas.
Nieddittas mussels arrive at our farms in the Gulf of Oristano after being selected in the nurseries of Sardinia, the Mediterranean and the best seas in terms of quality and climate. All the mussels that are introduced to our nurseries are of the same species, Mytilus galloprovincialis, the most widespread in the Mediterranean.
We take great care in the initial selection because we want the mussels we immerse in our sea to be of the best quality, ready to acquire the taste, the fragrance and the particular flavour of our sea. Once immersed in our waters, arranged in their characteristic rows, the mussels continue to grow and live in our sea, acquiring their taste and flavour.
WORKING AT SEA.
In our farms in the Gulf of Oristano, the Nieddittas mussels continue their life under the supervision of our fishermen, who continuously monitor the proper operation of the farm.
In fact, our fishermen monitor the life of the farm day after day, carrying out all the activities that are necessary for the mussels to grow healthily and safely. The ropes at our farms in the Gulf of Oristano are periodically inverted to ensure that all the mussels receive the same amount of light and therefore grow uniformly; the general condition of the farm is checked to protect mussels from predatory fish (for example, gilt-head sea bream love our mussels!) and to keep any problems created by storm surges in check; and, of course, all the checks and analysis required to monitor the health of the water and mussels are carried out.
It is important to remember that mussels feed only by filtering sea water and retaining the microorganisms found there. Humans cannot feed them in any other way; the only way to make them grow is therefore the natural one, by keeping them in the water as long as necessary for their growth and monitoring the general health of the farm.
PURIFICATION IN SEA WATER.
After being collected by our boats, the mussels are brought to our factory in Corru Mannu, which is less than 20 km from the port where the fishing boats dock. Very shortly after being collected in our nurseries, the Nieddittas mussels are re-immersed in bins for purification, a fundamental phase in the production chain. The bins are large, isothermal tanks filled with seawater taken from the Gulf of Oristano and sterilised.
In these tanks, the Nieddittas purification phase takes place, which lasts a minimum of 8 hours. In the purification plant, the temperature and salinity of the water are regulated so that the mussels find themselves back in sea water similar to that in which they have been living, resulting in them opening and allowing purification to take place more easily.
WE CARRY OUT THE PACKAGING PROCESS IN OUR PLANTS.
The work of our production chain is not finished. After being collected in the Gulf of Oristano and purified in our factories, the Nieddittas mussels are packaged and prepared for shipment to large scale distributors’ platforms.
If your Nieddittas mussels are always so fresh, it is because packing takes place only when the company receives a customer’s order. The mussels remain in the sea water until that moment. Once the order has been received, the Nieddittas mussels are collected at sea and purified, and they enter the packaging line immediately afterwards. Here, the first manual selection takes place, which eliminates mussels unsuitable for sale because they are broken or too small. At the end of the line, the selected mussels are packed in the typical nets and prepared for transport and delivery to the fish vendors. In each net a label is inserted with all the information (origin, batch number, packaging date, etc.) which, in case of need, will allow the traceability of the entire processing path.
Packing takes place in the same plant in Corru Mannu where purification takes place. Literally only a few minutes pass between the moment the mussels leave the purification tanks to the moment they are packed and prepared for shipment. This speed also contributes to preserving the freshness and quality of your Nieddittas mussels.
TRANSPORT TO LARGE SCALE DISTRIBUTORS’ PLATFORMS.
Our trucks, with their characteristic black and white designs, are now a constant presence on the roads that cross Sardinia and that reach as far as central and northern Italy. They load your Nieddittas mussels at our factories and transport them to large scale distributors’ platforms throughout Italy.
Logica, the company that is part of the Nieddittas network of companies and which handles logistics, monitors this phase of our work with a fleet of vehicles equipped with temperature-controlled cold stores. The vehicles are checked according to rigorous scheduled maintenance plans and the fleet is constantly renewed so as to always offer an efficient and reliable fleet. The insulated cold stores are regularly and meticulously sanitised, the temperature is constantly monitored during transport in compliance with our HACCP plan to ensure the maintenance of the cold chain and the delivery of the product in conditions that are consistent in terms of safety and freshness.
Delivery to large scale distributors’ platforms is the last step in our production chain. The wholesalers and managers of the large-scale retail trade who have chosen our products pick them up from the vendors to distribute them to all points of sale, where you can buy them. But what we have told you so far – selection and processing at sea, purification, packaging and transport throughout Italy – are not the only activities that take place within our production chain. The quality, freshness and food safety of Nieddittas mussels are guaranteed by checking and analysis procedures at every stage of the process, and the strict quality procedures that certify each phase of our work.