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Process

Step 1 : Cork harvest

Levée du liège - DIAM Bouchage

Today cork oak forests cover approximately 2,600,000 hectares and are exclusively cultivated in just seven countries. Harvesting a cork oak (debarking or stripping) is carried out every 10 years on average.

Using nearly 15,000 tons of raw bark per year, Diam Bouchage is a major player in the global cork market.

 Step 2 : Maturation, boiling & grinding

 

 

The cork strips are stored in the open air for a period of 6 to 12 months.

The raw cork is washed with boiling water and then crushed. The grains obtained are then filtered by densitometry to eliminate woody compounds and foreign bodies (stones, insects...).

Only the noble element, suberin, is conserved.

Step 3 : Cork cleaning

Purification du liège : le procédé DIAMANT®

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless, inert, non-toxic gas that naturally exists in the earth's atmosphere. It is the principal compound in "Green Chemistry"; its use does not alter the product and does not generate any polluting residues.

Under specific temperature and pressure conditions, carbon dioxide (CO2) reaches the "supercritical" state. It combines the penetrating properties of a gas and the draining properties of a liquid (used to extract caffeine from coffee, for example).

Diam Bouchage, with the CEA (French Ressearch Center), has developed the application of this procedure to clean cork.

With the Diamant procedure, the supercritical CO² extracts the compounds responsible for sensory deviations in wine, including TCA the chief cause of cork taint.

The cork is completely purified, sensory neutral.

Step 4 : Microspheres

Les microsphères

Microspheres are small spherical particles, with diameters in the micrometre range (typically 1 μm to 1000 μm). Under the effect of heat, the pressure inside of the sphere increases, causing its expansion. The final volume can reach fifty times the original volume.

Microspheres are found in tennis balls, paper cups or cosmetic applications (volume effect).

When these microspheres are heated with the suberin they expand, dramatically increasing their volume, and fix themselves between the cork particles. The structure of the closure is perfectly homogeneous thus guaranteeing the control of the exchange of gases inside and outside of the bottle.

The microspheres enhance the flexibility of the closure and help to maintain its elasticity. They provide the tightness required for the good conservation of the wine and for obtaining the desired mechanical properties.

Step 5 : Manufacturing 

Fabrication des bouchons Diam

The mixture suberin/microsphere is completed by a food-grade binding agent before being moulded and then steamed. The resulting closures are then machined to the desired dimensions and then satin finished with a silicone and paraffin mixture.

Thanks to the bacteriostatic properties of the Diamant process, it is possible to avoid the use of cleaning agents such as peroxide (oxygenated water). The removal of this compound gives the closure its natural genuine cork color while preserving the environment. Customized surface treatments for each client are carried out by branding or laser.

Step 6 : Quality Control

Contrôles qualité - DIAM Fabricant de bouchons en liège

The factories that produce Diam® are ISO 22000 certified and meet HACCP requirements. In addition, the three production sites are FSC certified.

Each batch of closures is subjected to stringent quality checks; when leaving the factory, on arrival in each finishing center and again after the completion of the marking and surface treatment. Samples are kept in the laboratory during the lifespan of the product.

For each individual batch, we systematically analyse :

  • Leachable TCA, TeCa, TBA, PCA
  • Extraction force
  • Dust content
  • Capillary rise

This rigor means we are able to provide a guarantee concerning the TCA and mechanical memory rates for every individual cork we produce.

  • Cork harvest

    Today cork oak forests cover approximately 2,600,000 hectares and are exclusively cultivated in just seven countries. Harvesting a cork oak (debarking or stripping) is carried out every 10 years on average.

    Using nearly 15,000 tons of raw bark per year, Diam Bouchage is a major player in the global cork market.

  • Maturation, boiling and grinding

    The cork strips are stored in the open air for a period of 6 to 12 months.

    The raw cork is washed with boiling water and then crushed. The grains obtained are then filtered by densitometry to eliminate woody compounds and foreign bodies (stones, insects...).

    Only the noble element, suberin, is conserved.

  • DIAMANT® process: cork cleaning

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless, inert, non-toxic gas that naturally exists in the earth's atmosphere. It is the principal compound in "Green Chemistry"; its use does not alter the product and does not generate any polluting residues.

    Under specific temperature and pressure conditions, carbon dioxide (CO2) reaches the "supercritical" state. It combines the penetrating properties of a gas and the draining properties of a liquid (used to extract caffeine from coffee, for example). Diam Bouchage, with the CEA (French Ressearch Center), has developed the application of this procedure to clean cork.

    With the Diamant procedure, the supercritical CO² extracts the compounds responsible for sensory deviations in wine, including TCA the chief cause of cork taint. The cork is completely purified, sensory neutral.

  • Microspheres under the microscope

    Microspheres are small spherical particles, with diameters in the micrometre range (typically 1 μm to 1000 μm). Under the effect of heat, the pressure inside of the sphere increases, causing its expansion. The final volume can reach fifty times the original volume.

    Microspheres are found in tennis balls, paper cups or cosmetic applications (volume effect).

    When these microspheres are heated with the suberin they expand, dramatically increasing their volume, and fix themselves between the cork particles. The structure of the closure is perfectly homogeneous thus guaranteeing the control of the exchange of gases inside and outside of the bottle.

    The microspheres enhance the flexibility of the closure and help to maintain its elasticity. They provide the tightness required for the good conservation of the wine and for obtaining the desired mechanical properties.

  • DIAM corks manufacturing

    The mixture suberin/microsphere is completed by a food-grade binding agent before being moulded and then steamed. The resulting closures are then machined to the desired dimensions and then satin finished with a silicone and paraffin mixture.

    Thanks to the bacteriostatic properties of the Diamant process, it is possible to avoid the use of cleaning agents such as peroxide (oxygenated water). The removal of this compound gives the closure its natural genuine cork color while preserving the environment. Customized surface treatments for each client are carried out by branding or laser.

  • Quality control

    The factories that produce Diam® are ISO 22000 certified and meet HACCP requirements. In addition, the three production sites are FSC certified.

    Each batch of closures is subjected to stringent quality checks; when leaving the factory, on arrival in each finishing center and again after the completion of the marking and surface treatment. Samples are kept in the laboratory during the lifespan of the product.

    For each individual batch, we systematically analyse : - Leachable TCA, TeCa, TBA, PCA - Extraction force - Dust content - Capillary rise This rigor means we are able to provide a guarantee concerning the TCA and mechanical memory rates for every individual cork we produce.


contact@diam-cork.com