Barilla, a producer of pasta, sauces and bakery products, has opened an expanded pasta plant and integrated durum mill in Ames, Iowa, US.

With the completion of the $65m expansion, production capacity at the facility has increased to 200,000t of dry pasta per annum.

Barilla Group CEO Claudio Colzani said: “Pietro Barilla had a vision for our company to bring to the US high-quality, healthy foods inspired by the Italian, Mediterranean lifestyle. Over 20 years ago, we were drawn to the unparalleled work ethic of Iowans, the agricultural know-how of Iowa State University and the proximity to favourable rail access as well as the critical regional supply of wheat.”

“Barilla’s dedication to the community and the local workforce make them a manufacturer we are proud to call one of our own.”

Barilla began US production in Iowa in 1998.

The company noted that the expansion of the Ames facility has created 41 employment opportunities.

The facility expansion includes the addition of two processing and packaging lines, a rail-yard expansion and six silos to store wheat.

Ames Economic Development Commission executive vice-president Ron Hallenbeck said: “We are very pleased with Barilla’s continued growth and investment in Ames. Barilla’s dedication to the community and the local workforce make them a manufacturer we are proud to call one of our own.”

In 2015, Barilla added two production lines for gluten-free pasta, which created 23 jobs at the facility.

The Barilla Group owns 28 production sites, including 14 in Italy. It exports to over 100 countries. Its facilities produce around 1,700,000t of food products annually under brands such as Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Pavesi, Wasa, Harrys, Misko, Filiz, Yemina e Vesta, Voiello and Academia Barilla.