Starch is our strength. We manufacture top quality starch products using modern and environmentally-sensitive methods.  The raw materials: corn, potatoes and wheat. The result: Top quality starch products for numerous applications in many different industries.


our starch factories

Our starch Factories

The starch segment has long been our second business field and one in which we are among the leading suppliers in Europe. We produce at five sites in Austria and Eastern Europe. AGRANA Stärke GmbH oversees the Austrian starch business and coordinates the activities of the subsidiaries and investments in Romania and Hungary.

Corn starch mill in Aschach

At the AGRANA starch mill in Aschach, corn is processed to make top-quality products for our partners in various downstream processing industries. The partnerships with our upstream suppliers are equally important. We rely on contract growing agreements and long-term supply relationships.

GMO-free is our top priority when it comes to processing corn at the AGRANA starch mill in Aschach. This status of the corn is constantly monitored both qualitatively (operational test kits) and quantitatively (high-tech PCR method).

Products made from special corn varieties are growing in importance in the market. For this reason, another focus associated with the procurement is on waxy corn, organic corn, organic waxy corn and corn supplied with a guarantee of its GMO-free origins.

The facility in Aschach currently processes over 1,450 tonnes of corn daily. Production continues year-round on a multi-shift basis.

A total of around 270 personnel at the Aschach site ensure that all of the processes are performed efficiently (production, engineering/maintenance, quality assurance, storage/transport, sales, raw material procurement, HR and accounting/controlling).

Potatoe starch mill GMÜND

At the AGRANA starch mill in Gmünd, locally grown potatoes are processed to make top-quality products for our customers in various downstream processing industries.

The partnerships with our upstream suppliers are equally important. We rely on contract growing agreements and long-term supply relationships.

The constant monitoring of all quality parameters on the basis of a certified quality management system according to ISO 9001: 2015 guarantees the highest levels of product safety for consumers and downstream processors.

The product range of AGRANA Stärke GmbH covers diverse applications not only in the food industry but also in the paper, textile and pharmaceutical sectors.

Organic refinery Pischelsdorf

The organic refinery commissioned in 2008 in Pischelsdorf represents AGRANA’s most recent production site in Austria. An upstream wheat starch processing plant was added to the site in 2013.

Top-quality foodstuffs and animal feeds, as well as products for technical industrial sectors, are produced at this organic refinery, with almost zero waste. The Pischelsdorf facility annually processes more than 100,000 tonnes of wheat starch, 23,500 tonnes of wheat protein, 240,000 m³ of bioethanol, 120,000 tonnes of biogenic CO2, 190,000 tonnes of the protein-rich animal feed ActiProt® and 55,000 tonnes of bran.

The close integration of the wheat starch plant and the existing bioethanol factory enable the cereals processed to be utilised particularly efficiency.

Hungrana Kft.

corn starch and isoglucose mill

In Hungary, AGRANA has a 50 percent stake in the Hungrana Kft. corn starch and isoglucose mill, located in Szabadegyháza, which is the largest isogluciose producer in Europe. This facility is located at the heart of Hungary's principal corn-growing region and enjoys good transport access. In addition to corn starch and isoglucose, 450 m3 of bioethanol per day are also produced.


corn starch mill

The Group acquired and modernized the S.C. A.G.F.D. Tandarei s.r.l. corn starch mill in 2002. This mill is located in one of Romania's corn-growing regions and processes around 100 tonnes of corn a day. Its principal products are corn-based native starch, modified starch and glucose syrups.

Facts and figures about starch

Facts and figures about starch

Pure starch is a white, tasteless and odourless powder which is insoluble in cold water or alcohol.

 It consists of two types of molecules: linear and helical amylose as well as branched amylopectin. Depending on which plant the starch is obtained from, it consists of 20 to 25 % amylose and 75 - 80 % amylopectin.

Starch obtained from plants

Starch obtained from plants

Which plants is starch obtained from?

In Europe, mainly corn starch, wheat starch and potato starch are manufactured.  Rice and tapioca are the main sources of starch in other regions. The plant-based starting materials are initially ground to release the starch. This is then ‘washed’ out of the cells and isolated by means of filtration and centrifugation.  The last step involves drying the starch.


Properties of starch

Starch has one particularly important characteristic: as a thickening agent.  When a mixture of water and starch is heated, the starch binds the water and swells. This creates a starch paste which serves as a thickening agent. Potato starch, corn starch and wheat starch all have different thickening properties. Besides gelatinised gluten, starch paste is the most important ingredient in bread and rolls.  At low temperatures, the gelatinised starch gradually becomes viscous again due to the fact that the amylase in the starch is not as effective at binding water as amylopectin. This effect is known as retrogradation and occurs, for example, when bread goes stale. 


Uses of Starches

Native and modified starches are used as an ingredient in food products, on the one hand, and for technical purposes (in the textile, paper, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and construction industries), on the other.

  1. Native starch is a powder obtained from plants containing starch. It is used as a thickening agent and a stabilizer. Good examples of this include custard, desserts, sauces and many forms of instant foods.
  2. Modified starches are obtained from native starches as a result of physical, enzymatic or chemical processing methods. Wet and dry chemical processes, drum drying and extrusion methods are all used. The properties of native starch such as its freeze-thaw stability, acid or alkali resistance or even its shear stability can be changed by means of these processes. Depending on the raw materials used starch is used for different applications. Native and modified starches can, for example, be used as ingredients in the production of foodstuffs, but also for technical purposes (in the textile, paper, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and construction industries).
  3. Starch saccharification products are formed by separating starch into its constituent sugar components. In this way, sugar can be obtained not only from sugar beet but also from starch-rich plants such as corn or potatoes. Starch saccharification products are largely used for sweetening carbonated soft drinks, ice cream, jams, confectionary, etc

nutritional role of starch

What nutritional role does starch play?

Besides proteins and fats, carbohydrates also constitute a major source of human nutrition and energy. Carbohydrates consumed in the course of our daily nutrition are either broken down or converted into glucose in the human body. Glucose is the human body’s preferred source of energy and is particularly important for the brain, renal medulla and for the formation of red blood cells.

According to the German (DGE), Austrian (ÖGE) and Swiss (SGE/SVE) nutritional societies, 50 - 55 % of our daily energy requirements should be sourced from carbohydrates, with the majority of this being from complex carbohydrates such as starches. Complex carbohydrates, which are mainly found in potato and cereal products, are taken up by the body slower and have a positive impact on the release of insulin and the increase of blood sugar levels.

The relatively difficult to digest starches also contained are referred to as dietary fibre. These starches cannot be broken down by human enzymes but are partially broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. Dietary fibre serves a number of important roles in the digestive tract and also has positive impacts on our metabolism.


Discover our starch product Portfolio

The complex properties of starch are valued in both the food industry as well as in technical industrial sectors, such as construction chemistry, paper and board manufacturing, as well as in the textile industry. At AGRANA, we rely particularly on certified organic and GMO-free products in our starch product portfolio.