Idaho-based sugar producer, The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC, along with fruit, starch, and sugar group AGRANA have begun producing crystalline betaine at a newly constructed facility in Tulln, Austria. The partnership, Beta Pura GmbH spent 15 months building the facility; an investment of approximately $ 43 million.
The new plant, with a production capacity of around 8,400 metric tons of crystalline betaine per year, makes the Beta Pura site the third manufacturing site in the world where premium-quality, natural crystalline betaine is produced.
“Amalgamated Sugar is pleased to announce, together with our joint venture partner, AGRANA, that the Beta Pura facility is now operational,” said John McCreedy, President & CEO of Amalgamated Sugar. “While the COVID-19 pandemic caused some delays and challenges, we were able to complete the construction and begin commissioning of the plant in August. We are excited to offer customers in the global feed and personal care segments a new source of high-quality crystalline betaine.”
Betaine is found naturally in sugarbeet molasses and has numerous positive uses and applications. Betaine is a methyl donor with osmoregulatory properties. It also aids the liver in processing fats and biologically degrades the amino acid homocysteine, which can damage blood vessels when in high concentrations.
Betaine can be used in food supplements or sports drinks to promote muscle development for human consumption, as well as for livestock as a component in animal feeds. Due to its osmoregulatory properties at a cellular level, betaine is also used in cosmetic products. In surfactants and detergent substances (e.g. shampoos and conditioners), betaine acts to stabilize the formation of foam and conditions and strengthens hair slightly.
About Amalgamated Sugar:
The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC produces sugar, animal feed products, and betaine from the sugarbeets grown by the 700+ members of their parent cooperative, Snake River Sugar Company. Sugarbeets are grown on approximately 180,000 acres in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Amalgamated Sugar is the second-largest producer of sugar from sugarbeets in the United States.
AGRANA converts agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and numerous industrial intermediate products. Around 9,400 employees at 56 production sites worldwide generate annual Group revenue of approximately € 2.5 billion. Established in 1988, the company is the world’s market leader in fruit preparations and the leading producer of fruit juice concentrates in Europe. In addition, its Starch segment is also a major manufacturer of custom starch products and bioethanol. AGRANA is also the leading sugar producer in Central and Eastern Europe.