Durak Hazelnut Increases its Production Capacity with TOMRA’S Sorting Machines

Durak Hazelnut, the hazelnut industry’s turnover leader, continuously invests in improvements. Now the company has increased its production and export capacity with TOMRA sorting machines.

A family-owned business in operation since 1960, Durak Hazelnut had the highest turnover in the hazelnut industry in 2017 and again in 2018. Durak is committed to providing products at a higher level for both the domestic market and the export market, at the same time as increasing its capacity. To fulfil these objectives, as part of its 2019 investment budget of 30 million Turkish Lira (€4.8m), the company has purchased new TOMRA sorting machines.

Durak operates five separate production plants: two hazelnut cracking plants in Ordu and Samsun, two in Hendek, and an integrated facility in Hendek. Durak has been using TOMRA products since 2006 and now has a total of 23 TOMRA sorting machines, including seven recently-delivered examples of the Nimbus BSI+.

Underlining TOMRA’s contribution to its business volume, Kadir Durak, the Chairman of the Board, explained:

“We completed 2018 as the turnover leader in the hazelnut sector with a turnover of 1 billion 250 million TL (around €200 million). Turkey is the world’s largest hazelnut producer and meets 70-75 percent of the whole market. We aim to grow in terms of both total turnover and export volume by increasing our production capacity. A healthy growth can only be achieved with the right investments. We plan to increase our productivity even further by accelerating our business and reducing costs. In this context, TOMRA sorting machines are our best solution partner.”

Supplier to world-famous brands

Kadir Durak explained that his family’s business provides products primarily to Europe, as well as Africa, Balkan countries and the domestic market in Turkey. Some 80 percent of the company’s production is for chocolate, 10-12 percent for pastry, two to three percent for ice cream, and five percent for the dried nut markets. Mr. Durak said:

“We supply products to the leading chocolate brands of each country. Being a supplier of such global customers requires high quality and food safety management systems. Our customers have high expectations for quality. With TOMRA sorting machines, we have increased both our production capacity and the quality of the final product.”

Emphasising that the business has been using TOMRA machines for more than 13 years, Kadir Durak said:

“Of course, TOMRA has improved its products as a leading technology manufacturer in its field. Most recently, we took delivery of seven TOMRA Nimbus BSI+ sorting machines. Accuracy and sorting quality are very high, so that the quality of the end product satisfies our expectations.”

The TOMRA BSI+ module uses both near-infrared and visible spectrum wavelengths to detect product defects for a more detailed classification capability. The BSI+ module detects product defects both visible and invisible to the human eye using near-infrared spectrum. This technology enables the sorting machine to detect insect bites, rotten, mouldy and colour defects with the highest efficiency.

TOMRA machines for quality, cost and efficiency

Durak Hazelnut has the capacity to crack 800 tons of shelled hazelnuts and produce 100 tons of processed hazelnuts on a daily basis. The company operates at 60 percent capacity in processed hazelnuts and 70 percent capacity in raw hazelnuts. Pointing out the importance of maintaining high quality while increasing the processing capacity, Kadir Durak explained:

“TOMRA’s sorting solutions increase the processing capacity as well as food quality and safety. We are extremely comfortable because we are confident that all foreign materials and product defects are detected with high performance. We also gain cost savings as a result of high working efficiency.” 

The purpose is to increase business volume, not save labour

Durak Hazelnut installed five TOMRA laser sorting machines at its cracking facility in Hendek in 2006 and 2007. Mr. Durak said:

“We used to have a daily cracking capacity of 80 tons with 200 people. With TOMRA, we started to produce 150 tons with a team of 100 people. However, this does not mean that we have reduced the number of our employees. Our team, which consisted of 200 people in the 2000s, reaches 1,200 people today. We attach importance to employment as much as high-tech machinery for our business volume.”

HACCP rules and EU criteria are applied in Durak Hazelnut’s world-class hazelnut processing facility. All microbiological, foreign material and chemical risks are eliminated within the system using the most modern sorting and roasting methods, with strict control measures. The TOMRA Nimbus Biometric Signature Identification (BSI+) technology, which is known for its ideal solutions for sorting foreign materials in food processing facilities, not only detects foreign materials but also recognises visual irregularities by identifying product-specific defects.

TOMRA Food Turkey Sales Manager Ahmet Koçyiğit stated that with Nimbus BSI+, nut producers achieve the highest sorting efficiency in all products which guarantee significant savings and strong competitive advantage.”


Global chocolate producers such as Ritter Sport are extremely satisfied with the products

To give an example of the high levels of customer satisfaction achieved by Durak Hazelnut, Kadir Durak commented:

“Ritter Sport, one of the world’s leading chocolate producers, chose us as the supplier of the year in 2016 and 2018. Receiving this award twice, from nearly 130 suppliers, is an important indicator that we are meeting our customers’ expectations. TOMRA machines have a important role in our performance. When our customers visit our facilities, they are very satisfied with the conditions of our facilities and our TOMRA machines.”


After-sales service is important for uninterrupted production

Mr. Durak emphasized the importance of TOMRA’s after-sales service capabilities:

“We have established a very successful communication during our partnership with TOMRA due to their understanding of the need for quality and speed in after-sales support. Every machine can create tiny problems from time to time, and these need to be addressed quickly. With TOMRA, we have been able to continue production without any problems.”

Ahmet Koçyiğit explained:

“At TOMRA we offer complete solutions. Although our machines have proven themselves all over the world, our after-sales services are as important as our products. We support our technological leadership with our expert teams who are highly experienced and specialized in products such as hazelnuts, and we always pay attention to support our customers after the sales of our products. Thus, the most productive collaborations become inevitable.”