US-based biotechnology firm Ginkgo Bioworks has launched Motif Ingredients, a new alternative protein development company, following a $90 million Series A funding round.
Ginkgo Bioworks uses genetic engineering to create products for the food, pharmaceutical and other industries, and Motif Ingredients will leverage Ginkgo’s bioengineering capabilities and expertise to develop alternative proteins and other ingredients for global food companies.
Using biotechnology and fermentation rather than animal agriculture, Motif will engineer proteins derived from dairy, egg and meat without compromising the functionality, taste and nutrition of animal-based ingredients.
Major investors in the $90 million funding round included Fonterra, Louis Dreyfus Company, and Viking Global Investors.
Jonathan McIntyre, former SVP of R&D at PepsiCo, has been appointed as Motif’s CEO.
McIntyre said: “Sustainability and accessible nutrition are among the biggest challenges facing the food industry today. Consumers are demanding mindful food options, but there’s a reigning myth that healthy and plant-based foods must come at a higher price, or cannot taste or function like the animal-based foods they aim to replicate.”
“Biotechnology and fermentation is our answer, and Motif will be key to propelling the next food revolution with affordable, sustainable and accessible ingredients that meet the standards of chefs, food developers, and visionary brands.”
Judith Swales, the chief operating officer of Fonterra’s global consumer and foodservice business added: “To help feed the world and meet consumers’ evolving food preferences, traditional and complementary nutritional sources need to co-exist.
“As a global dairy nutrition company, we see plant- and fermentation-produced nutrition as complementary to animal protein, and in particular cows’ milk.
“Our partnership with Motif enables us to be part of this emerging area and help meet the nutritional needs of the world’s growing population.”
The popularity of alternative protein sources is growing as consumers are changing their consumption habits due in part to growing environmental and ethical concerns.
Last month, fellow US-based biotechnology firm Sustainable Bioproducts, which has developed a method of producing alternative protein sources through fermentation, also raised $33 million in a Series A financing round.
Earlier this year, Nestlé announced plans to introduce a plant-based, meat-free burger called the ‘Incredible Burger’, which is set to rival other meat alternatives such as the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger,
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020