Monday, July 13, 2015

True As Stainless Steel

If you walk into an Italian store or restaurant, don't be surprised if you happen to see something similar to the picture above. In fact, you may see it at a friend's house for dispensing water or even distilling some alcohol. Just know that you have witnessed the growing popularity of the Italian stainless steel container known as the "fusti". And thanks to the top fusti producer called La Nuova Sansone, these are readily available for customers outside of its homeland in Italy. Read on as we discuss who Sansone is, what NSF Certification is, the differences between seam folding and welding, the steel types used in the fustis and what pickling metal is all about.

Who Is Sansone

La Nuova Sansone, often shortened to Sansone, was founded in 1991 by Benito Giannelli. With great passion, he was able to put his acquired experience to good use. Sansone produces containers, known as fustis, made from stainless steel for the conservation of food related items. Interest and demand for these are very strong in the homeland of Italy and is a fast growing market abroad, especially in the United States.

Sansone fustis are used to store a variety of foods and liquids such as oil, wine, honey, peas, beans and other legumes. The stainless steel grade used to make the fustis are of the 18/10 - AISI 304 (DIN1,4301) type that guarantees the best results in terms of product life and hygiene. Sansone conforms to the quality system standard UNI EN ISO 9001:2000. They even produce NSF certified fustis to further guarantee the best of what Italian fustis can offer.

They not only provide the traditional Italian fustis but also have unique accessories such as their Stainless Steel Oil Cruet, perfect for the dinner table when having guests over!

Italian Stainless Steel Oil Cruet

You can also check out their TV spot that aired in Italy!

What Is A Fusti?

Fusti (pronounced as foo-stee) is the Italian word for "drum". Normally made from stainless steel, these were originally designed to hold olive oil. The Italians would fill their fusti from the olive mills in preparation for the coming winter. This was done right after the olives were harvested to guarantee freshness. The fusti would then be set aside in the pantry from which the family could pour whatever they needed.

However, the fusti's versatility does not limit it to just olive oil. Other thick liquids such as honey can work just as well as long as you have a special honey spigot type. Within the United States and other places in the world, consumers have found it particularly useful for distilling alcohol and even more popular as a water dispenser. With the various sizes that are available on our online retail store The Gourmet Import Shop, it is ideal for both retail customers as well as businesses or restaurants. The demand from our customers has been excellent since we introduced fustis from Italy. They have been selling like hot cakes!

NSF Certification

NSF Certification Symbol
NSF is the abbreviation for National Sanitation Foundation. Originally called NSF International and founded in 1944, they started off specifically in sanitation but expanded beyond that area and into global markets around 1990. The NSF is an independent and accredited organization who develops standards as well as  test and certify products to comply with standards. When you see the NSF mark on a product, that is a sign that it has been approved by one of the most respected independent certification organizations in the world. This seal ensures that the product complies with all the standard requirements.

Seam Folding v.s. Welding

You will notice that there are two different types of fustis on our site, the NSF Certified types and ones without it. This correlates to what technique is used to make the fustis in the shape they are. The non-NSF fustis are seam folded types while the NSF Certified ones use a welding technique. To compare the visual difference, all you have to look at is the bottom of the fusti where it either curves or folds up.

Seam Folding

100 Liter (left) & 75 Liter (right)
non-NSF Fustis
Using this method is simply bending the metal to form the shape that it needs to be made into. For Sansone, we carry their 75 Liter and 100 Liter fustis which are seam folded. These fustis use a stainless steel grade of 18/10 - AISI 304 (DIN 1,4301), a first rate quality material for its purposes.


10 Liter (left) & 15 Liter (right)
NSF Certified Butt Welded Fustis

Tungsten Inert Gas Welding
In general, welding is the process in combining materials. By melting the metal pieces and adding fill material to the molten section, it then becomes solidified as a weld by cooling through a combination of pressure and heat. The type of welding that the Sansone NSF fustis use is a special method called butt welding. Butt welding is an economical and reliable way of joining pieces without using additional components and is often accomplished with a Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) welder, also known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG). This type of welding provides stronger, higher quality welds than other weld methods. GTAW is commonly used when working with stainless steel as it provides the welder with greater control. The area that the weld is made in is protected from any contamination through the atmosphere by an inert shielding gas (like argon or helium) along with filler metal. The trade off with using this welding method is that it is a lot more complex to use and master and is known to being slower than other techniques. The NSF Certified Sansone that are available from The Gourmet Import Shop come in sizes of 10 Liter, 15 Liter, 25 Liter and 50 Liter. These too are made from a stainless steel grade of 18/10 - AISI 304 (DIN 1,4301).

Steel Types

Type 304 - Type 304 is made to withstand the corrosive nature of acids found in vegetables, milk, fruits and meats. Other examples that use this type of stainless steel include  large items like sinks, stoves, and refrigerators as well as culinary utensils such as pots, pans, and cooking appliances. It is great for use with the dairy, citrus, and fruit industry and is especially useful for the brewing industry where the steel is used in fermentation vats, storage, and even distilling. This is the metal that is used for the fustis that we have.

Type 316 - Unlike Type 304, Type 316 is the usually used for industrial type equipment since it has higher defense against corrosion such as phosphoric acid, hypochlorite solutions, sodium/calcium brines, and also sulfurous acids & sulfite liquors that are used in the paper pulp industry. In general, this alloy is ideal for industries handling rubber, paper, textiles, inks, and photography chemicals. Type 316 is even greatly used in surgical implants within the human body. The spigots Sansone use are made of this steel type and is perfect for use with water as they are rust proof.


Heat tinted areas from welding; not pickled
The NSF Certified fustis all have gone through a process known as "pickling". Pickling is the removal of a thin layer of metal from the surface of a stainless steel item. This is to help remove weld heat tinted layers form the surface of stainless steel items. These layers are where the steel's surface chromium level has decreased, and it is good practice to remove all visible heat tinting. Other impurities can include rust, stains and scale. A mixture of nitric and hydrofluoric acid are usually used to pickle stainless steel. As pickling as an acid based treatment, it will not remove grease or oil. The 3 main methods used for pickling are:

Tank Immersion

Spray Pickling

Circulation Pickling

Tank immersion is usually done at on off-site pickling area or at a specialist's pickling plant. Spray pickling can be done onsite but requires the necessary and appropriate means of acid disposal and safety procedures. Circulation pickling can use brush on gels or paste or electrochemical cleaning to do the job on site and does not require expert knowledge for safe and effective execution, although it is recommended to have adequate supervision available if necessary.

Wrap Up

After reading through this post, we hope it was able to help better inform you, the reader, of what these stainless steel beauties are all about. The acceptance of the fusti has been overwhelmingly positive in America, and neighboring countries and those in Europe have contacted us asking about it. We are sure Italians are happy to see people across the world use their traditional drum and expanding its use from its original intent with storing oil.

You can find these and other fine gourmet products through our online retail site by clicking our logo down below!
Click me to browse our store!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    You have really done the great job,wonderful article with informative stuff,i loves to follow your blog.

    For complete details please visit stainless steel wires rods & stainless steel 304