top of page

IngredientWerks Makes Breakthrough in Alternative Protein Industry with "Meaty Corn"


IngredientWerks, a leading molecular farming company, has achieved a groundbreaking milestone for the alternative protein industry by producing proprietary corn that expresses high levels of bovine myoglobin. Bovine myoglobin is a high-value heme protein used to mimic the taste, texture, and aroma of meat in alternative protein applications. By using corn as a "manufactory" for producing valuable proteins like its "Meaty Corn," IngredientWerks taps into the immense capacity of the US agricultural cultivation and processing infrastructure to produce these proteins at an industrial scale, with a carbon-neutral footprint, and at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional animal proteins.


In the second quarter of this year, IngredientWerks surpassed its initial target expression level of heme at 10 milligrams per gram of corn, an achievement that enables the production of heme protein at an unprecedented low cost. This marks the first successful expression of myoglobin beef in corn, representing a significant advancement in plant-based molecular farming. The company has secured patent application filings to protect this proprietary application. Myoglobin, a heme-binding protein commonly found in cows' muscle tissue, plays a crucial role in creating meatier flavors in the rapidly growing alternative protein space, which IngredientWerks estimates to be a $1 billion global market opportunity.


Matt Plavan, CEO of IngredientWerks, compares this achievement to the impact of advancements in lithium-ion battery technology on the electric vehicle market, noting that it paves the way for producing high-quality, low-cost animal proteins at scale. The breakthrough comes at a critical time when the alternative protein industry faces challenges in meeting the increasing consumer demand for cost-competitive alternative meats. Traditional methods like precision fermentation or cultivated meat have faced capacity bottlenecks and high processing costs, making it difficult to produce these proteins at scale.


In less than a year since emerging from stealth mode, IngredientWerks has revolutionized animal protein production by introducing a new approach to scaling. Their innovative "Meaty Corn" offers a solution to address the growing consumer demand for cost parity and quality in alternative foods. With the increasing availability of plant-based and alternative foods in stores and restaurants, consumers are demanding higher standards for taste, cost, and sustainability. IngredientWerks aims to meet these demands by providing quality, affordable, and sustainable ingredients for the food industry.


Matt Plavan expressed his enthusiasm for the achievement and the potential impact it will have on the industry, saying, "I'm continually amazed at the ingenuity and dedication of the IngredientWerks research team, and excited to bring this valuable solution to the industry!" The breakthrough in producing bovine myoglobin in corn is a significant step forward in reshaping the alternative protein industry, and IngredientWerks is poised to play a crucial role in driving the adoption of plant-based proteins in mainstream diets.

bottom of page