Food tech startup Motif FoodWorks announces it is partnering with IngredientWerks, an agtech ingredients company, to develop high-value plant-based proteins for the alt-protein market. Through the research partnership, the two companies say they will explore new ways to optimize heme protein production through molecular farming.
“Leveraging molecular farming… could be a critical addition to our toolbox of approaches”
According to Motif, the partners have begun an exploratory study aimed at recreating Motif’s HEMAMI™ ingredient using corn. HEMAMI is used to give plant-based meats the same flavor and aroma as animal-based meat, and is said to be bioidentical to the bovine heme protein found in beef. IngredientWerks will aim to produce Motif’s HEMAMI using broad-acre crops such as corn.
If successful, Motif says enabling crop protein production in its ingredient strategy will lower both production costs and the carbon footprint created by manufacturing HEMAMI.
“We recognize that companies developing alternative proteins through large-scale manufacture may face capacity challenges,” stated Matt Plavan, CEO of IngredientWerks. “By exploring the opportunities that molecular farming can provide, Motif is one step ahead of the game. The alternative protein industry has the potential to build an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective supply chain capable of closing the parity gap. I look forward to continuing to work together with Motif to create a growing ecosystem.”
IngredientWerks, which recently completed a seed funding round, specializes in molecular farming and the production of high-value plant proteins. The company says it uses a proprietary crop protein production system that offers a more sustainable and cost-effective way to drive the scale-up of alt-proteins globally.
Based in Boston, Motif FoodWorks utilizes precision fermentation to create breakthrough animal-free proteins and ingredients, including its debut product, HEMAMI.
According to the startup, it is continuously seeking to expand its technology portfolio while keeping operating costs under control. When evaluating potential long-term solutions, Motif began conversations with IngredientWerks to determine the viability of molecular farming as an additional technology solution for ingredient production.
Since 2021, Motif has raised over $226M in funding.
“Precision fermentation is an incredible process that allows us to create breakthrough ingredients without using animals,” said Michael Leonard, CEO of Motif FoodWorks. “As we continue to grow our business, we’re exploring multiple solutions to expand our production capabilities. Leveraging molecular farming and crop-based protein production to produce our ingredients could be a critical addition to our toolbox of approaches and allow us to leverage the right solution at the right time to create the next generation of food.”