Motif FoodWorks Collaborates to Improve Taste, Texture and Appearance of Plant-based Foods

Motif FoodWorks

Motif FoodWorks, a self-described “ingredient innovation company,” has announced a research collaboration and license option to evaluate novel technologies for formulating lipids and fiber-forming ingredients in plant-based meats and dairy products that “have the potential to enable unprecedented taste and texture improvements in these fast-growing categories.”

The group is working with the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, and Dr. Alejandro Marangoni, Tier I Canada Research Chair in Food, Health and Aging at Guelph and founder of Coasun, Inc.

Here the back story: Some food producers have relied on existing ingredients such as coconut oil to replicate the sensory experience of animal-derived fats.  Motif assets that current solutions don’t taste, cook, or interact with other ingredients like animal fats do.

The company says that faithfully recreating the attributes of animal fat has been a missing link for plant-based food developers. Motif FoodWorks and its collaborators are “working to close major gaps in taste, texture, and appearance that are critical to the creation of plant-based foods that consumers actually crave.”

Over a 12-month period, Motif will assess a set of promising technologies that aim to improve animal-free fats to make consumer favorites like plant-based burgers, sausages and cheese more delicious, including:

  • Replacing saturated fat with an animal-free emulsion system that exhibits the physical properties of saturated fat at room temperature;
  • Replicating critical animal fat structures, such as the pockets of fat in meat products that produce marbling;
  • And improving the texture of plant-based cheeses, to be more meltable and elastic.

The effort will be led by Stefan Baier, Motif’s Head of Food Science, and Dilek Uzunalioglu, Motif’s Head of Applications, who will evaluate the performance of these technologies across various food forms, including plant-based meat and cheese.