Motif Foodworks, a Boston-based food technology company, today announced the launch of its HEMAMI heme ingredient following GRAS approval by the FDA. Motif’s revolutionary HEMAMI, which is the company’s debut product, is now available for large-scale distribution.
Motif Foodworks specializes in developing products that improve the taste and texture of plant-based foods. HEMAMI marks a major milestone for the plant-based industry as the only commercially available heme ingredient. While startups like Triton Algae and Yemoja have successfully experimented with algae-based heme in labs, those innovations have not yet hit the market.
Heme: The Magical Ingredient
Heme is the iron-bearing protein molecule scientists say provides meat with its meaty taste. Heme gained overnight fame, of course, as the star ingredient in the Impossible Burger, where it imparted both a realistic meaty flavor and vibrant red juices that appeared “bloody” when Impossible patties were cooked. Until now, heme represented Impossible Foods’ most closely-guarded flavor secret, and the $2 billion company held exclusive patent rights and knowledge on producing and commercializing it from soybeans.
With Motif Foodwork’s HEMAMI, plant-based companies can now access heme’s power to enhance the flavor and appeal of virtually any plant-based meat.
The importance of taste cannot be understated: According to Motif, while sales of meat alternative have grown by 23% in the last two years, taste remains a top reason people don’t purchase plant-based products. A study found two out of three Americans (67%) would choose more plant-based options over meat if those products tasted better.
The release of HEMAMI follows Motif’s colossal $226 million Series B funding round in June. In addition to the product launch, the brand is using the funds to build an immense, 65,000 sq. ft. research and development center in Boston. The new facility will house three pilot plants, each specially dedicated to developing fermentation, ingredients and finished products.
“To execute on our holistic innovation process and rapidly develop and commercialize our proprietary technologies and products, we need to control the facilities and capabilities required to test, validate and scale our food-tech,” said Jonathan McIntyre, CEO of Motif Foodworks. “We look forward to the opportunities and innovation our new facility will bring to Motif and our customers.”