In its sophisticated factory in the Turkish province of Sakarya, Aydin Kuruyemiş (www.aydinkuruyemis.com) manufactures high-quality nuts and dried fruits in various pack styles. Five years ago, the company invested in a full line solution for modified atmosphere packaging in trays, primarily based on SEALPAC equipment. We spoke with Mr. Bilal Çağlayan, Project Executive at Aydin, about this impressive line, for which he teamed up with Feyzi AS (www.feyzi.com.tr), SEALPAC distributor in Turkey.
Strict quality control
In 1979, Aydin Kuruyemiş started as a family business in Siirt, in the eastern part of Turkey. Just ten years later, after its customer base had shown steady growth, Aydin’s CEO, Mr. Mehmet Metin Aydin, decided to move the company’s head office to the fast-growing metropole of Istanbul. This fuelled Aydin’s reputation, making it a renowned nuts and dried fruits producer today. What started as a small business involving only 5 to 10 people has now become a major group of companies with over 750 employees. In only 40 years, the company transformed from one packaging line in a small production hall into a full-service manufacturer with nine modern plants (e.g. in Siirt, Mersin, Gaziantep, Istanbul and Sakarya).
Its selection of nuts (e.g. hazelnuts and pistachios) primarily comes from Turkey, although some products (e.g. cashew nuts and almonds) may be imported from other parts of the world. In all cases, Aydin controls the entire process from the harvesting of the raw materials up to the delivery of the finished products to the end user. Aydin’s strict quality assurance system, combined with its unique production capacities, differentiates the company from other suppliers.
The most advanced technology around
Aydin’s production facilities are equipped with the most advanced technology around. It enables the company to sort, process, roast, fry and package thousands of tons of nuts and dried fruits per day in the most efficient way. Recent investments include a pasteurization unit (to remove salmonella bacteria and other contamination from the products) and a chocolate coating line. Mr. Bilal Çağlayan, Project Executive at the Chairman’s office, is responsible for Aydin’s machine investments. As he explains: “In 2014, we invested in a new line for packaging nuts in re-closable trays under modified atmosphere. We first investigated the possibilities for tray sealing, where we knew SEALPAC was one of the top brands. However, another important decision factor was the ability to provide quick maintenance and spare parts, so we had to find out if SEALPAC had a distributor in Turkey. This led us to Feyzi AS. Based on their extensive network of technicians across the country, we became convinced that they would be able to give us the appropriate service. Furthermore, Feyzi’s Sales Director, Mr. Serkan Atay, proved to be a reliable bridge between us and SEALPAC.”
Always running smoothly
The result: a full line solution is installed in 2014, consisting of a SEALPAC AS-LS1200 linear denester, Walking Beam in-feed conveyor, SGF-1 loose fill system, vibration unit, A6 traysealer and MD1200-D lidding system. The external equipment includes multi-head weighing, printing, labelling, check-weighing and metal detection. For the installation of this line, Mr. Bilal Çağlayan, primarily based in the Istanbul head office, worked closely together with Mr. Osman Eroğlu, Food Engineer in the Sakarya factory, who explains: “The Walking Beam in-feed system guarantees the most accurate positioning of the trays underneath the filling heads. Furthermore, after filling the trays with product, the Walking Beam ensures immaculate transport of the tray without spilling product over the edge throughout the entire line. The line offers enough flexibility to run two different tray formats with minimum changeover times. The MD1200-D lidding system is even equipped with two magazines, each containing the appropriate lid for the two tray formats (144 x 114 x 50 mm and 144 x 89 x 54 mm), making it easy to switch from one to another.” Mr. Bilal Çağlayan concludes: “We could not have done this project without Feyzi’s support. Even today, owing to their periodical maintenance, we are able to run the line smoothly each time we need it.”
Optimal shelf life and convenience
The nuts are packaged under modified atmosphere, meaning that the normal air inside the tray is replaced with 100% N². This prohibits oxidative rancidity and achieves a shelf life of one year. Mr. Bilal Çağlayan: “Besides the quality of the equipment itself, what we found to be most impressive is SEALPAC’s special vacuum and gas-injection system that is able to bring the residual oxygen level inside the package down to below 0.1%. There are very few companies that can achieve such values!” Moreover, each tray is hermetically sealed with SEALPAC’s InsideCut system for an excellent appearance at retail and has a peel tab for easy opening by the consumer. The lid allows the consumer to re-close the tray and keep any remaining nuts fresh if not using them all at once.
Keep your eyes open
Mr. Bilal Çağlayan concludes: “Approximately 50% of our products are exported abroad in bulk, mainly to wholesalers. From Europe to the Middle East, from Russia to China, we have commercial activities in approximately 60 countries. On the domestic market, we supply to retailers, such as Migros, Metro, Carrefour and BIM. We can see that nuts in trays are becoming more common in Turkey and abroad. As such, we are planning to be more competitive at retail by introducing new products. For example, we see an increasing demand for small portions of 25 to 30 grams. Make sure to keep your eyes open, because we expect some interesting product launches very soon!”