Leading hazelnut exporters choose Tomra technology


Olam Progıda, one of Turkey’s hazelnut exporters, have been increasing their efficiency and product quality with TOMRA’s sorting machines for over 20 years. The company, which most recently purchased TOMRA Nimbus BSI+ machines that were delivered in 2018, ascribes its long-standing partnership with TOMRA to its satisfaction with its added value to food safety and with its after-sales services.

Olam Progida is part of the Olam Group, a global agri-business which is present in 66 countries in 18 different platforms including cocoa, coffee, dried nuts, hazelnut, sesame, spices, rice and sugar, and has built leadership positions in most. Olam is a supplier of hazelnut kernel products through Olam Progıda, which emphasize that TOMRA’s cutting-edge technology plays a substantial role in their success.

TOMRA’s contribution in the value chain is substantial

Olam Progıda operates four hazelnut factories: three in Turkey and one in Georgia. The company has been using TOMRA Food’s sorting technologies for the past 20 years, and today there are 18 TOMRA sorting machines in its four facilities.

In addition to natural high-quality hazelnuts, Olam Progıda offers added value products such as blanched, roasted and diced hazelnut kernels and hazelnut paste. Underlining that they are the second biggest exporter of hazelnuts in the world, Olam Progıda Production and Technical Services Manager Aykut Gören explained: “Turkey supplies 70 percent of the annual hazelnut production of the world. Turkey has been delivering high-quality hazelnuts to the world markets for centuries.

“The Turkish hazelnut is also very suitable for industrial use, but of course, processing conditions are at least as important as production conditions. At Olam Progıda, we process hazelnuts in our modern integrated facilities equipped with cutting-edge technology. The performance of TOMRA sorting machines in our production line contributes greatly to our productivity.”

Olam Progıda exports more than 32 thousand tons of processed hazelnut every year primarily to Germany, Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland. Stating that they produce enough hazelnuts to make 673 million jars of chocolate hazelnut spread every year, Gören continued: “We are stepping out of traditional methods in the hazelnut industry. We are using cutting-edge technology, and in this regard, we are benefiting in many ways from the advantages provided by TOMRA sorting machines.

“With TOMRA, we not only guarantee food safety, but we also benefit in terms of operating costs. We are pleased by the high benefit-cost ratio afforded by TOMRA’s complete solutions.”

The main criterion for choosing TOMRA is safe food production

Olam Progıda supplies food products to the most well-known brands of the world. For this reason, ensuring sustainable food safety and high-quality standards is a priority in its business strategy. Products of its world-class facilities equipped with state-of-the-art technology are used in chocolate, candy, pastry, ice-cream and dried nut industries all over the globe. Elaborating on the subject, Gören said: “We supply hazelnuts to the biggest brands of the world and naturally, since our customers’ expectations are so high, our standards carry a lot of weight. Products coming from the field first head to our cracking facilities. Before and after the cracking operation, there is considerable amount of foreign materials in the product.

“Our first step in food safety is sorting these unwanted materials with TOMRA equipment. Since it enables us to conduct our sorting operation 24 hours-a-day with the same performance, our efficiency increases considerably. For this reason, it is imperative that we equip our facilities with world-leader TOMRA technology.”

Olam Progıda’s partnership with TOMRA started with BEST Sorting and has continued over the past 20 years. Most recently, in 2018 they took delivery of 4 units Nimbus BSI+ sorting machines, featuring the advanced BSI+ technology, which with its user-friendly software detects not only foreign materials, but also visual discrepancies by defining defects peculiar to hazelnut.

The 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 makes the Nimbus BSI+ the market leader in detecting defects in hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds and all other nuts including bug bites, rot, colour defects and musty pieces. The Nimbus BSI+ enables nut producers to ensure higher efficiency, better error detection and “first-class” quality products in a single processing.

Pointing out that Turkish hazelnut exporters are considered reliable suppliers in the global market, Aykut Gönen added: “We believe that, at this point, TOMRA also adds value. We host many of our international customers at our facilities and test our products together. They are very pleased to see TOMRA sorting machines at our facilities. Ultimately, people have confidence in TOMRA’s technology and products.”

TOMRA’s easy to use Nimbus BSI+

The specialized software of Nimbus BSI+ provides multiple advantages for food producers, such as increasing their customer’s involvement in the creation of a product’s biometric signature. It also makes BSI technology more user-friendly for operators, requiring less training and resource allocation.

The advanced user-friendly interface offers different input options, hence more flexibility, helping customers use their sorting machines quickly and with ease to fulfil their particular needs. Aykut Gönen commented on their satisfaction with the ease of use coupled with high performance of their sorting machines: “All hazelnut products manufactured in our factory are processed with care to meet our customers’ specific needs and product specifications, which have been defined through extensive joint deliberations. In this regard, TOMRA is our primary solution partner. We can easily perform any classification ourselves with our TOMRA machinery.”

Gören stated that, in addition to the ease of use of the machines, they are also very pleased with TOMRA’s high level of support: “In all the years we have been working with TOMRA, we have never experienced a problem critical enough to stop production. Even when we encountered minor problems, TOMRA after-sales services made sure that we continued production promptly. Even on day-to-day issues, we can create quick solutions together. This level of close cooperation and the delivery of fast solutions are major criteria for us.”

Pointing out the importance of the capacity of the lines in calculating the return on investment, Gören said: “Our investment in TOMRA pays for itself in two to three years on average.”

TOMRA Foods Turkey Sales Manager Ahmet Koçyiğit commented: “Nimbus BSI+ is a technology that has proven itself globally in the nut sector, and we are consolidating our superiority in software with mechanical developments. Thanks to its mini-pitch air manifold, the sorting of any calibre of product can be done more precisely, hence substantially decreasing the quantity of good units in the waste and increasing efficiency. As a result, our machine helps improve the efficiency of the facilities, the quality of the product and the customer’s profitability, while minimizing product waste.”

Businesses using the current Nimbus BSI sorting machine can also take advantage of the BSI+ technology to increase their performance without making any mechanical changes to their sorters.


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