The lab will explore foundational aspects of Motif’s R&D process, including analytics, food science, fermentation, and test kitchens.
Farmer holding pepper plant in hands on field, homegrown organic vegetables

Motif FoodWorks, the biotech company developing protein ingredients to use in plant-based meat and dairy substitutes, has opened a new lab and office space in the Boston Seaport neighbourhood, a hub for science and technology innovation in Massachusetts.

The new facility will house Motif’s research and development team working to analyse, discover and design new approaches to developing foods and food ingredients in the plant-based category.

The 10,600 square foot space features labs for the foundational aspects of Motif’s R&D process, including analytics, food science, fermentation, and test kitchens. The work done in each lab will play a role in understanding the stages of the food experience, from the physics of how food transforms as it’s chewed, to new ingredients to improve taste, texture and appearance of plant-based meat and dairy products. The labs will also help discover new plant-based food forms.

Jonathan McIntyre, chief executive of Motif FoodWorks, said: “Right now, consumers are looking for plant-based meats with a full, satisfying flavour, and plant-based dairy products that are truly rich and creamy. To get there, we’ll need to upend a lot of the traditional research and development approaches that simply aren’t meeting consumer expectations. The only way to move food innovation forward is to invest in new approaches to R&D that have been ignored by the industry for too long. Our lab space will help us apply food science in a multidisciplinary, holistic way to unlock food’s secrets, creating plant-based ingredients and foods that are nutritious and craveable.”

Motif officially launched in February last year and was spun out of bioengineering platform Ginkgo Bioworks, which is one of its major investors and strategic scientific partners. To date, Motif has raised $119 million in funding, and has multiple ingredients currently in development.

Motif’s new labs are located in the same building as Ginkgo Bioworks, which will offer support during the construction of the facility, for managing security, IT, and workplace safety.

Date published: 22 December 2020

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