“Developed by our engineers the new system of production will open a new era for beverage exports of Turkey,” says Rafet Doganay
Having the first swede turnip (shalgam) production facility in the world, Doganay Food company builds a new factory to increase its capacity for exports. Rafet Doganay, chairman of the company introduced his company, who aimed to increase the share of exports to 90% in three years.
On the history of Doganay brand
Our family has been in business since 1960 as wholesaler, retailer of pulses. Then in 1997 we entered in swede turnip production, which is sold from Van to Edirne. (Shalgam [swede turnip] is a popular beverage from southern Turkey’s cities of Adana and Mersin.)
On shalgam facilities, the first in the world
Shalgam was a popular beverage in Adana. We wanted it to be more popular first in Turkey and decided to establish a special factory to produce healthy products with qualified personnel, fully automatic filling lines, laboratories, etc. Earlier shalgam had been prepared and consumed by families at home.
Before deciding to establish the factory we gather views and information about the product, the market and its consumption from related sources including the experts in Cukurova University. They encouraged us.
At the end a good facility was established. At the beginning it was hard to sell our product to local families who consume their own homemade productions. In Izmir, our product has sold hot when we introduced our product to a retail chain in that province. Ankara was the second largest market for us. Then we entered Istanbul retailers. To be successful in Istanbul also means success in Turkey. We have been in this business for 17 years. We are still going after our target to sell shalgam to every household in the country.
On the benefits of salgam beverage
Studies have been carried out for years about the benefits and use of shalgam in universities and in laboratories. We are aware of the benefits of it, because we as local people know them by our own experiences. First it helps digestion thanks to the enzymes in it. It is anti-oxidant. Since it is a fermented product it is probiotic. It contains vitamin C and limited amount of calorie, 15 calorie per liter. According to a Tubitak report it has no cholesterol and sugar; it reduces glucose level.
Shalgam is actually made with the juice of red carrot pickles, salted, spiced, and flavored with aromatic turnip (çelem) fermented in barrels with the addition of ground bulgur. It is traditionally served cold in large glasses with long slices of pickled carrots, called dene. Hot paprika relish is added just before drinking. Hot or regular, it is a popular drink with Adana kebab.
On other products produced by the company
Shalgam is our locomotive product. Lemonade is another beverage of our childhood. We decided to produce it besides shalgam. It has been sold in pet bottles that are oxygenated. And oxygen reduces the quality of drink. Glass is rather costly. Then we found a solution in Germany and designed a special package. It is healthier as glass and light as pet bottles.
On the production process peculiar to the company
We have fresh pressed lemon juices in our product portfolio having longer shelf life of 6 month at room temperatures, than its normal life of 3 to 4 days in fridge. During production high pressure is applied in the process of UHT and pasteurization processes. It has effects on juices molecules. Our process, presently it is our secret, is a special process developed by our engineers.
On other varieties
In the future we will add 100 % fruit juices of pomegranate, mandarin, apple, red and orange carrot to our product lines. Oranges harvested in Turkey is consumed as fruit, and in the juice production. We even import oranges from Spain, Brazil, China and Israel to produce juice. We study to farm Pera kind oranges in Turkey. They can be farmed in Southern parts of the country.
On share of exports in production
Presently our shalgam exports to about 30 countries including Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Australia and America are limited to 10 percent. Iran is another market for us. In three years time our exports will reach to 90 % of our production capacity.