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A knack for the market

brot + backwaren, Heft 02/2019, S. 36-37

For more than 90 years, Keyaniyan Company has been a specialist in trading bakery seeds, dried fruit and nut kernels. In addition to a manageable core portfolio the Hamburg-based company is active in niches that only a few serve.


"We obtain our goods from 34 countries worldwide, this ranges from Turkey over California to China", explains Behnam Keyaniyan, owner Keyaniyan Company. "With this we cover for each of our products all relevant origins, even such exotic ones as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan."


The cosmopolitan was literally given to him in the cradle: Since 1928 the name Keyaniyan stands for Persian merchant tradition in Hamburg and the trade in food raw materials. Since 1985 Behnam Keyaniyan holds the helm in the hand. His company supplies the bakery and confectionery industry, the handicrafts via the wholesale trade as well as industry. A decisive advantage when purchasing high quality raw materials Behnam Keyaniyan sees in the supplier network that has grown over decades, the knowledge of cultural characteristics and knowledge of many national languages.


"Political trade risks are growing, partly due to tariffs and state intervention, but also through embargoes such as against Russia." New risks would be the climatic changes. "Bad harvests

has always existed, but weather extremes are increasing and with them the risk of large-scale failures“, Keyaniyan said. „In order to be successful in the complex markets for food raw materials and to make optimal purchasing decisions today, you need market knowledge and extensive and timely information."


His company sees itself as a trading partner who through strategic risk management can minimize, delivery and exchange rate risks by supply alternatives in different countries. Sultanas, for example, handles the company not only from Turkey as the most important country of delivery, but also from South Africa, China and Afghanistan. Keyaniyan: "Afghan sultanas are characterised by a particularly fruity and fresh aroma, and e.g. towards Turkish sultanas they have lower pesticide levels".


As an IFS-certified company (Higher Level/Broker) the company works with fixed quality standards. "We act according to specification. Defined are e.g. the sensory values, the product-specific chemical-physical values and the microbiology". The company has analyses carried out by accredited laboratories such as SGS or Eurofins. The quality management, says Keyaniyan, take an ever larger importance.


GMO freedom is an integral part of every specification, as genetically modified products (GMO) are not permitted in Germany. Keyaniyan: "As a general rule, GMO can be controlled by eliminating special origins . Linseed used to come from Canada, today from Russia or Tajikistan, since there is no genetic manipulation be carried out."

Trend towards added value products


"With our products we serve the trend towards value-added products in the bakery sector that are healthy, sustainable and convenient," says Keyaniyan. Pumpkin seeds, sesame or almonds, for example, would be called in many media as "Superfood".


Pumpkin seeds: Shine Skin to Snow White


In the bakery sector almost exclusively hulled, Chinese pumpkin seeds are used. A distinction is made between the light green variety "Shine Skin", the skinless, dark green "GWS" pumpkin seeds (grown without shell) and the variety "Snow White", whose name is derived from its silvery seed coat. Keyaniyan: "Most popular in the baking industry are the 'Shine Skin' pumpkin seeds, because with they can also be topped on rolls after roasting.

Since GWS pumpkin seeds are already in unprocessed condition very dark and because they even brown during baking, they are preferred to be used for processing in the dough".


Sesame: From India, Nigeria or Sudan


Sesame is one of the oldest oil plants in the world and today it is grown in all tropical and subtropical areas. "We trade sesame seeds from India, Nigeria and Sudan. Most of the sesame that is processed in Germany comes from India and is traded almost exclusively in hulled form." Sesame seeds come in the colours black and golden yellow to light brown. The Indian sesame is white and relatively neutral in taste, compared to the more yellowish and sweeter African sesame.


The special feature of the Spanish almond


Almonds are the oval stone fruits of the almond tree. Keyaniyan trades almonds from up to five origins. The US state of California is the most important growing area in the world with a harvest of approx. 1.1 million tonnes per year, followed by Australia with 80,000 tonnes and Spain with about 60,000 tonnes. The Californian qualities are characterised by uniformity of the fruit and good sorting properties. They are therefore mainly for almond preparations (e.g. sliced, chopped almonds, almond sticks and almond flour). Spanish almonds are particularly convincing through their aroma. Behnam Keyaniyan explains: "The Irrigation of trees in Spain takes place since almost 2,000 years in the so-called dry farming method only with rainwater, without additional irrigation methods. Due to the lack of water the roots of the almond trees need to be deeply penetrate into the soil to increase the moisture content and suck the characteristic soil properties formally with. This contributes to the special taste of Spanish almonds."


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