Austrian ingredients producer Agrana will invest €3.4 million in research and development sites for its fruit, starch and sugar businesses in France and Austria this year.
€2.6 million will be used to upgrade its development centre for fruit preparation in Mitry-Mory, France. This includes the addition of 700m of laboratory space.
For its fruit preparations business, Agrana currently has 17 development centres around the world working on new formulations, special ingredients, raw materials as well as new application areas for existing products.
Its portfolio of fruit preparations ranges from fruit purées and inclusions for dairy products, ice creams and bakery products to the latest solutions for plant-based spoonable and drinkable yogurt products.
Meanwhile, the remaining €800,000 will be used for the expansion of Agrana’s research and innovation centre (ARIC) in Tulln, Austria.
The Tulln facility is the main research and development subsidiary within the Agrana Group at 4,000 square-metres with 85 employees working on projects related to fruit, starch and sugar. The expansion will create a further 300 square-metres.
In its fruit segment, Agrana aims to optimally maintain the natural properties of the fruit, while in its starch segment, the company is focused on the development of organic and clean-label products. Finally, it will focus on developing energy-saving production and maximising efficiency in its sugar segment.
“In our role as a first mover in regional markets, we try to pick up on new development trends as early as possible,” said Agrana CEO Johann Marihart.
Marihart added: “We develop products in close collaboration with our customers in order to reflect local market requirements and these latest trends. Our global network of product developers enables us to launch over 1,000 new fruit preparation products on the market every year.”
Last year, the company invested €22 million to open a new fruit preparation facility in Changzhou, China, its third production facility in the country. It also started work on a €40 million betaine crystallisation plant in Austria as part of its joint venture with The Amalgamated Sugar Company.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019