TURKEY –  Contract dairy manufacturer Gönenli Süt is building Turkey’s first infant nutritional formula facility, localizing production and cutting the country’s reliance on exports.  

The facility will be constructed at a new Gönenli site in Akhisar and will produce infant nutritional formula for major global brands that have operations in the country.  

Production capacity is expected to be 13,800 tonnes per year, with the plant scheduled to be operational in March 2023. 

Gönenli Süt has contracted German food equipment manufacturer GEA to supply processing technology for the infant nutritional formula facility.  

 Established in 2015, and headquartered in Ístanbul, Gönenli Süt is one of Turkey’s major contract dairy manufacturers.  

The company is the first dairy company in Turkey to receive approval for enteral nutrition products manufacturing and pioneered local production for two of the existing three key multinationals dominating the Turkish market.  

 Its new facility will also expand capacity for processing UHT- and Extended Shelf life-milk for existing and new customers around the world.  

GEA will be supplying separators and an MVR1 (mechanical vapor recompression) evaporator to enable the company to process long-life milk products.

Infant nutritional formula manufacturing will be made possible by the installation of a GEA MSD 500 spray dryer, with a capacity greater than 2,000 kg/h of powder, and TVR (thermal vapor recompression) evaporator systems (2TVR1, 8,000 kg/h).  

Zeki Sözen, president of Gönenli Dairy, said, “Infant formula production is critical for Turkey because it is all imported. While self-sufficiency for food is major concern for many nations, one can easily imagine the importance of infant formula.  

“We believe this project will also be a success story and milestone for Turkish dairy industry for not only infant formula, but also many nutrition products manufacturing.”  

GEA has worked with Gönenli since 2016, providing separator technology and equipment for UHT- and ESL-milk process lines at the Balikesir plant.  

In June 2021, GEA was again contracted to design, configure and supply the infant milk powder processing part of the new plant at Akhisar.  

New powder packaging system for dairies 

Earlier, the German equipment supplier launched a new packaging line for dairy and food powders or granules.

According to GEA, the new SmartFil M1  has been developed to provide a range of filling configurations to meet the needs of the food, dairy, and pet food industry for low-capacity applications. 

It also offers a compact and flexible low-rate packing process, making it particularly effective for companies operating in emerging markets, low volume producers, and pilot plants. 

SmartFil M1 can be configured to suit almost any application from dry, fine powders through to coarse granular products and offers a nominal filling capacity of 120 bags per hour or three tons per hour at 25 kg product size.  

Depending on the product being packaged, the system features configurable product metering options including vertical auger and horizontal vibratory feeder. 

An optional deaeration probe may be added for improved consolidation of the product if required.  

Customers can also choose to pack into open-mouth bags, boxes, or drums of varying sizes whilst closing is made to be configurable to suit the packaging type. 

GEA says small-scale dairy plants requiring a hygienic powder-filling solution in a compact form can select the GEA SmartFil M1 with auger feed, deaeration (option) and continuous heatsealer with integrated fold-over. 

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