New GMO Alert: Motif FoodWorks™ – August, 2022

A New Plant-Based Meat Analog – This Time with Synbio Bovine Blood Proteins

The Non-GMO Project closely monitors all food and ingredient products made using synbio (also known as precision fermentation) and has done so for a number of years. We are now seeing these products making their way into the food supply chain. Since its introduction in 2016, the Impossible™ Burger from Impossible™ Foods has had the distinction of being the only plant-based meat analog that includes a synbio ingredient. The inclusion of that ingredient, heme, which is produced by a genetically modified (GM) microorganism, marked the first merging of a synbio ingredient into a plant-based product. Well, that distinction is no more.

Motif FoodWorks™ (Motif), the food development spinoff from Ginkgo Bioworks, has now released a plant-based meat analog with its own synbio ingredient – Hemami™. Like the Impossible™ Burger, Motif’s BeefWorks™ (aka MoBeef™) burger combines a plant-based meat analog with a GM ingredient designed to create a more “meat-like” product through the inclusion of synbio “blood” proteins.

Hemami™ was launched as an ingredient in December 2021.  Although both heme and Hemami™ are the products of GM microorganisms, Motif’s source of the DNA for its GM microorganism is bovine (cow) muscle (myoglobin); Impossible™ Foods’s source of the DNA for its GM microorganism is soy root nodules (leghemoglobin). Motif’s BeefWorks™ burger also includes the company’s proprietary Appetex™, a texturizer, as an ingredient.

Motif’s burger was first introduced to consumers as part of a pilot study conducted at several Dallas-area Coolgreens eateries during the summer of 2021. With the commercial launch of BeefWorks™ earlier this year, Motif has expanded its focus in the marketplace, targeting food service, distributors, and retailers.

Motif also has ambitious plans for the future, with more products in development, including Motif BeefWorks™ ground beef (2022), Motif PorkWorks™ (aka MoPork™) (2022), and Motif ChickenWorks™ (aka MoChicken™) (2023). The company has also filed trademark applications for Motif MilkWorks™ (aka MoMilk™), Motif MoCheese™, and Motif FishWorks™ (aka MoFish™).



The Non-GMO Project’s Standard defines all crops and products developed using biotechnology, including new gene-editing techniques, as GMOs. We share this information to further one of the Project’s primary goals of creating greater transparency in the supply chain, ensuring you have the information you need to make the best choices for you, your brand, and your family. 

Please note that the information herein is for general informational purposes only and is based on the linked sources above.