Motif Foodworks, the food technology spinout of synthetic biology unicorn Gingko Bioworks, announced today that it has added a couple more tools to its plant-based food technology toolbox that will help enhance plant-based meat and cheese products and make them more like the real thing.
According to the press announcement, Motif has gained exclusive commercial rights to these technologies as a result of a collaboration announced last June with researchers at the University of Guelph and private research company Coasun.
As described in the press release, the technologies include:
- Extrudable fat technology: Unique oleogel technology that replicates animal fat, allowing for more authentic fat textures, such as marbling, in plant-based meats—acquired from Coasun.
- Prolamin technology: Uses plant-based ingredients to improve the texture of plant-based cheese, allowing it to melt, bubble, and stretch like animal-derived dairy—licensed from the University of Guelph.
Both these technologies address two of the most important shortcomings of plant-based products when it comes to creating realistic analogs. On the fat side, while plant-based minced meat replicas of ground beef or chicken nuggets are pretty realistic nowadays, there’s still some work to create realistic whole cut analogs. By acquiring the technology rights to the work of Dr. Alejandro Marangonia, Motif aims to help its plant-based product partners create more realistic marbling in that new plant-based ribeye steak.
For pizza lovers, the prolamin technology is exciting because it addresses one of the biggest challenges when it comes to creating realistic plant-based cheese: achieving the melty cheese “stretch” effect.
You can see the technology in action in the video from Motif below:
Personally, I’ve found some of the new generation plant-based cheeses from companies like Grounded Foods and Miyoko’s Creamery are pretty darn close to the real thing, but I’m still waiting for a good melty plant-based cheese product. With this news from Motif, hopefully plant-based cheese with that realistic stretch is just around the corner.