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PXP06D
RTR29P 
July 01, 2003 
Workers check the quality of cork stoppers at the Subercentro factory
in Ponte Sor, 150 km from Lisbon... 
Ponte De Sor, Portugal 
WORKERS CHECK THE QUALITY OF CORK STOPPERS AT SUBERCENTRO FACTORY IN
PONTE SOR. 
Workers check the quality of cork stoppers at the Subercentro factory
in Ponte Sor, 150 km from Lisbon in the Portuguese Southern Province of
Alentejo, July 1, 2003. At the Subercentro factory, which has has more
computers than workers, each cork is gauged by a dozen lasers and
checked for flaws by electronic cameras before being hermetically
packed in sulphur dioxide to prevent mustiness. Portugal is the world's
biggest producer of natural cork, a time-consuming business which could
be squeezed out by plastic stoppers that are far easier to make and
claim to preserve the taste of wine better. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro
PP03070047

JR/jm 
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