Austrian food company Agrana and US-based sugar producer Amalgamated have entered a joint venture (JV) for the construction of a betaine crystallisation plant at Agrana’s sugar mill in Tulln, Austria.

Betaine is produced from sugar beet molasses and is used in food supplements and sports drinks.

This agreement is subject to the approval of anti-trust authorities.

The crystallisation facility will be built by the JV with an investment of €40m. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in approximately one year, with work on the plant commencing in early 2019.

“Tulln facility will become the world’s third betaine crystallisation production site. The facility will produce natural crystalline betaine.”

Since 2015, the Austrian-based firm has been processing sugar beet molasses obtained during sugar production to make liquid betaine.

Upon completion of the construction, Tulln facility will become the world’s third betaine crystallisation production site. The facility will produce natural crystalline betaine.

Agrana Beteiligungs CEO Johann Marihart said: “Amalgamated is one of the world’s leading providers of the technology, which extracts top-quality crystalline betaine from sugar beet molasses. We look forward to a successful partnership.

In November, Agrana began production of high dietary potato fibres at its potato starch mill in Gmünd, Austria.

Dietary fibre helps to curb hunger, cuts down blood sugar and fat levels, and promotes a healthy gut flora.

It is used in baked goods, liquid refreshments and meat products.

The Gmünd facility manufactures more than 300 starch products.

Established in 1988, Agrana produces fruit juice concentrates and starch. It is also a leading sugar producer in Central and Eastern Europe.

Amalgamated is a leading sugar beet producer in the US, with acreage of around 73,000ha in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.