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Motif FoodWorks partners with IngredientWerks on research to expand technology portfolio with molecular farming

March 3, 2023

Motif FoodWorks, the Boston-based food technology company, has announced its partnership with IngredientWerks, an agtech ingredient company developing high-value plant-based proteins for alternative protein markets. Through their research partnership, the two companies will explore innovative ways to optimize heme protein production through molecular farming.  

IngredientWerks, which recently completed its seed funding round, specializes in molecular farming and crop protein production to enable plants as factories to produce high-value proteins. The company utilizes a proprietary crop protein production system that is an environmentally sustainable, cost-effective supply chain-capable way of powering the scale-up of alternative proteins globally.  

Motif’s debut ingredient, HEMAMI, gives plant-based meats the same meaty flavor and aroma as their animal-derived counterparts. This breakthrough innovation is made utilizing precision fermentation technology. While precision fermentation is and will remain a driving force of the plant-based and alternative food protein industry, the number of companies leveraging this approach outnumbers the available production capacity. This has encouraged innovators like Motif to expand their technology portfolio approach to grow with scale and keep operating costs under control. When evaluating long-term solutions, Motif began conversations with IngredientWerks to determine the viability of molecular farming as an additional technology solution for ingredient production.

“Precision fermentation is an incredible process that allows us to create breakthrough ingredients without using animals,” commented 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.”

Utilizing broad acre crops such as corn, IngredientWerks will set out to produce Motif’s HEMAMI, which is bioidentical to the bovine myoglobin heme protein found in beef. Through their partnership, the two companies have begun an exploratory study aimed at recreating Motif’s bovine myoglobin in corn. If successful, enabling crop protein production for use in Motif’s ingredient strategy will lower both production costs and the carbon footprint created by manufacturing the ingredient.  We are not manufacturing technologies.  

“We recognize that companies developing alternative proteins through large-scale manufacture may face capacity challenges,” added 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.”

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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