Motif FoodWorks, an ingredient company serving the plant-based food market, has announced an exclusive research collaboration and license option with the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and Alejandro Marangoni, Tier I Canada research chair in food, health, and aging at Guelph and founder of Coasun, an ingredient technology company. Under this collaboration, Motif will evaluate novel technologies for formulating lipids and fiber-forming ingredients in plant-based meats and dairy products that have the potential to enable taste and texture improvements in these categories.

Food producers have historically relied on existing ingredients such as coconut oil to replicate the sensory experience of animal-derived fats, but current solutions don’t taste, cook, or interact with other ingredients like animal fats do. 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 crave.

Over the course of a year, Motif will assess a set of promising technologies that aim to improve animal-free fats to make plant-based burgers, sausages, and cheese taste better, including the following:

  • 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.

Under the exclusive evaluation period with the University of Guelph and Marangoni, Motif can exercise options to acquire or license these technologies.

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.

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