Maize grain, which has become the livelihood of many producers in agricultural production by using inputs such as soil, air, water, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, labor, etc., is used as a raw material for animal feed and starch production. In Turkey, a number of main products and by-products are obtained from maize, particularly starch and starch sugar. (Figure 1)

Figure 1. Maize, Starch and Starch-based Sugar Value Chain in Turkey Source: TEPAV, 2013

Approximately 65-70% of the maize by weight contains starch, which is its main product, and the remaining 30-35% consists of by-products.

Main products of starch industry:

  • Starch
  • Starch sugar (glucose/fructose syrups)
  • Dextrose
  • Maltodextrin

By-products of starch industry:

  • Maize germ: Maize oil
  • Maize bran: Feed industry
  • Maize protein: Feed industry
  • Vitamins, ash, raw fiber, soluble sugars, biofuel, etc.

Maize germ is a critical raw material for food production due to its oil content of over 40%. With a protein content of 60%, maize gluten is an important input for protein requirement in the animal breeding.

Starch Industry Capacity and Capacity Utilization

Starch industrialists operate in a total of six provinces in Turkey, including Adana, Bursa, Kırklareli, Sakarya, Gaziantep and Istanbul. Starch companies are located in regions with high food production or regions that have easy access to foreign markets. (Table 1)

Source: Starch Manufacturers Association of Turkey (NISAD)

Contribution to National Economy

The starch industry contributes both directly and indirectly to the national economy in a wide range from maize production to the production of basic inputs required by the food and beverage industry. Direct contributions of starch industry including its by-products (excluding taxes and similar liabilities transferred from the industry to the public) are given in Table 2 below.

Source: Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), ITC, Starch Manufacturers Association of Turkey (NISAD), 2020, 1/ Share of the number of farmers in total agricultural employment, considering the maize used in SBS industry.

By the end of 2022/23, the starch industry exported 363,187 tons of starch sugar (SBS) and 165,895 tons of maize starch as well as its by-products, bringing a total of $341 million of foreign currency into Turkey. Foreign currency earning activities (exports) of the industry have reached $1,319 billion from SBS, $574,9 million from starch and $638 million from by-products, achieving a total of $2,532 billion over the past ten years.

Approximately 300,000 Turkish farmers are employed in the production of maize which is the main input of the starch industry, and the production process employs a total of 12,000 people, 2,650 of whom are employed directly.

As of 2022/23, 1.15% of agricultural employment in Turkey has been provided by the starch industry while only 0.35% was contributed by the industry. Starch industry ensures compliance with international standards of occupational health and safety.

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