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The objective of the crucial cork-baking process is to remove solid organic matter lodged in the pores, and to allow cork to reach the correct moisture content for processing.
In the baking system developed by ARDias, known as CLEAN CORK ADVANCED 1, cork boiling is carried out with water by injection (700 kg of cork – 700L OF WATER) with a pH of 4/4.5 (acidic), which matches the pH of cork phenols.
The cork is simultaneously steamed at a temperature above 100 ºC, where the steam has the same pH value. This procedure takes 60 min. After that, all the water is removed from the chamber. Then follows the sterilisation phase, which is simply carried out with steam at above 100 ºC for 45 minutes. This process is always carried out with the addition of fresh water.
Then the cork rests outside the chamber for up to 48 hours, in order to stabilise before the process of transforming it into stoppers begins.
Once stabilised, the cork boards are cut into strips and perforated with a drill which extracts cylindrical stoppers.
The stoppers are then mechanically separated and photographed by computerised machines, which classify them based on visual quality. Rejected stoppers are used for manufacturing granulated cork, which is used in technical stoppers.
After this stage the batches are then subjected to the innovative Clean Cork Advanced 2 treatment system.