BOSTON — Plant-based ingredient innovation company Motif FoodWorks announced a new research collaboration with the University of Guelph in Ontario, and Alejandro Marangoni, PhD, Tier I research chair in food, health and aging at Guelph and founder of Coasun, Inc.

The year-long partnership will evaluate novel technologies for formulating lipids and fiber-forming ingredients in plant-based meat and dairy products. Motif will assess technologies that aim to replace saturated fat with an animal-free emulsion system; replicate critical animal fat structures, like the pockets of fat that produce marbling; and improve the texture of plant-based cheeses to be more meltable and elastic.

“Creating the right kind of fat structures in plant-based foods is one of the most significant — and exciting — challenges in the category because fat plays such a critical role in what makes some of our favorite food experiences so satisfying,” said Mike Leonard, chief technology officer at Motif FoodWorks. “In our work with Marangoni and the University of Guelph, we will evaluate technologies with the potential to serve as critical new building blocks in plant-based food design.”

The collaboration follows Motif’s partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst to develop new ways of characterizing functional properties of proteins. The company also has teamed up with the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, to research ways to improve the texture of plant-based meats.