PICTA, one of the companies of Technopark Istanbul Incubation Center (Cube Incubation), made Turkey the world’s best quality red beet producer by doing R&D in red beet. The company, which is also involved in the production process of the product it improves, makes a contract with the farmer. It produces herbal extracts (extract), purified extracts, pigments and natural food colorants from agricultural materials. PICTA exports more than 300 products to 12 countries. The company, which prepares a project to produce antioxidant and anticarcinogenic substances from pomegranate peel extract, is in cooperation with a private institution in this field. The CEO of PICTA, Yüksek Biochemist Serhan Şen, answered the questions of Istanbul Ticaret:
How was PICTA established
PICTA, which was established in 2018 in order to better evaluate the great agricultural potential of Turkey, made examinations in the Netherlands and the USA, where the best examples in the world are located. It has been a part of the great momentum the natural food colorings market has gained since 2013.
I joined the PICTA family in 2019. I started the first herbal extraction (separation of a substance from the compound) and the production of colorants from these extracts while I was doing my master’s degree in biochemistry at Gebze Technical University.
What does PICTA mean
PICTA means ‘color-colorant’ in Latin. The leaf in the logo with a color from red to purple; It symbolizes that black carrot and red beet products, of which Turkey is the global leader in the field of colorants, come from the parsley (Umbelliferae) family in biological classification.
What do you produce
New products with high added value from agricultural materials; We specialize in the production of herbal extracts, purified extracts, pigments and natural food colorants.
Our main productions are powder and liquid colorants, oleoresins (fragrant essential oils), customer-specific and conventional products. PICTA is an R&D company that produces food colorants and natural plant extracts for nutraceuticals.
Which plants make up your raw materials
Our country has a rich variety of seeds. Turkey is a leader in red colorants, as the climate and soil structure are very suitable for black carrots and red beets. Apart from these plants, we have raw materials such as clover leaves, paprika, turmeric, spinach and orange carrots. All of our processes are physical and natural; no chemical treatment is applied.
Do you export
We export to 12 countries including Japan, China and Germany. Our goal is to increase the export weight in our turnover to 70 percent. Both our raw materials and our facility infrastructure are sufficient to achieve this.
We have FSSC 22000, Kosher and Halal certificates. Our facility; Specially designed to strengthen our management of product cross contamination risks.
Which sectors are used by your products
Primary user is food sector. In this sector; Both powder and liquid forms are used in many areas such as ice cream, confectionery, soup, meat and dairy products. Different sectors such as medicine, cosmetics, oil, sports nutrition, textiles are among the users. We develop joint projects with pharmaceutical companies for use in food supplement form.
The end consumers’ orientation to natural products has created a great potential worldwide. Of course, the legal regulations of the states are also effective in this process.
Has the pandemic affected your production
Although we are in the pandemic process, we closed the year 2020 with 157 product projects, many of which are new. Our success rate is 96 percent. This is an indicator of our passion, merit and effort for this job for all of us.
In 2021, we anticipate that the number of our projects will be over 250. We are working with universities to purify the active ingredients in the products and use them in the pharmaceutical industry.
Anticarcinogenic from pomegranate peel
“We focused on the production of natural and advanced material with high antioxidant capacity from pomegranate peels classified as waste by concentrate facilities. This product will be available in food and pharmaceutical industries as an antioxidant and anticarcinogen. We made our protocol with a private institution to test cancer cells. The product, which we plan to start production in the last quarter of 2021, will not have any domestic or foreign counterparts with its concentration type and high purity degree.”
Turkish red beet
Şen said, “By doing R&D in red beet breeding, we were able to obtain red beet 30 percent better than world standards. Thus, we brought Turkey ahead of its global competitors in a short time. This success has been a source of pride for PICTA, ”he said.
300 kinds of colorants
“In the field of food colorant, we use nearly 20 local coloring resources, mainly black carrot, red beet, clover, turmeric, radish, and pepper. Currently, we have more than 300 products in both liquid and powder form. Our monthly production capacity is 350 tons. We aim to increase our capacity by 20 percent in 2021. “
Serhan Şen said that in addition to standard products, they also develop formulas with the features requested by the customers and make special productions. Şen said, “We open a project for every request of our customers, offer new products specific to the demands and improve the problems.
The most common problem we encounter and offer a solution to; “Although our customers have different needs, they have to work with the same products that are developed uniformly.”