Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Motif FoodWorks Launching “Authentic” Plant-Based Beef, Pork and Chicken for Food Service

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Boston food tech company Motif FoodWorks announces it is launching a new portfolio of finished plant-based meats for food service, including Motif PorkWorks Grounds and Motif BeefWorksPatties and Grounds. The company will showcase the portfolio, along with a preview of Motif ChickenWorks, at the National Restaurant Association Show (NRA) in Chicago. 

According to Motif, its new food service products give restaurant owners options that provide the taste and texture of real meat, and satisfy customer demand for better protein alternatives. 

Motif states that 53% percent of consumers report they would eat more meat alternatives if they tasted better. To create the new products, the company says it combined its first two commercial ingredients, HEMAMI and APPETEX, to accurately mimic the flavors and springy texture found in beef, pork, and chicken.

Motif PorkWorks Plant-based Pork Meatballs
PorkWorks Ground ©Motif FoodWorks

Key ingredients

HEMAMI is a heme protein that provides a bold, meaty flavor and aroma, while APPETEX simulates the connective tissue found in animal meat with plant-based ingredients. Together, Motif states its PorkWorks, BeefWorks, and upcoming ChickenWorks Plant-Based Cutlets deliver a range of more realistic finished options for food service distributors and retailers.

First launched in 2019, Motif specializes in ingredients that improve the taste and texture of plant-based foods. In recent years, it has developed several major advances in animal-free food tech, including HEMAMI, an ingredient that imparts a meaty flavor in alt protein products.

Motif FoodWorks Burger with HEMAMI
©Motif FoodWorks

“Heme” controversy

However, the release of HEMAMI in 2021 provoked a patent infringement lawsuit from Impossible Foods, which accused Motif of copying the technology behind Impossible’s soy leghemoglobin ingredient. Motif has consistently denied the allegations, and following the EU’s revocation of Impossible’s patents in 2022 announced it had filed four new challenges to US patents held by Impossible. The lawsuit is ongoing. 

In 2023, Motif revealed it entered a partnership with tech startup IngredientWerks to explore producing heme protein from corn via molecular farming. 

Plant-Based Pork Tacos
©Motif FoodWorks

“Motif answers operators’ desire to meet consumer demand for great-tasting plant-based food by creating alternatives that truly mimic the taste and texture of animal meat,” CEO Michael Leonard said. “With APPETEX and HEMAMI, we have refined our portfolio of products to meet the needs of food service customers and are eager to share samples of what is the new benchmark in plant-based meats at NRA.”

Motif FoodWorks will be sampling PorkWorks and BeefWorks at the NRA show from May 20 -May 23, at booth 490 in South Hall, Organic & Natural Pavilion.

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