US-based biotech company Ginkgo Bioworks has launched an alternative proteins company called Motif Ingredients, following a $90m in Series A financing round.

Motif Ingredients, which is powered by Ginkgo Bioworks’ platform for biological engineering, will use biotechnology to develop alternative proteins and food ingredients for global food developers.

Motif CEO Jonathan 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.

“Sustainability and accessible nutrition are among the biggest challenges facing the food industry today.”

“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.”

Companies that invested in Motif include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Louis Dreyfus Company, Fonterra and Viking Global Investors.

Fonterra Global Consumer and Foodservice Business COO Judith Swales said: “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.”

Motif is the second startup to be launched from Ginkgo’s platform for biological engineering.

Joyn Bio was the first company launched in September 2017 in a joint venture by Ginkgo and Leaps by Bayer to focus on achieving more sustainable agricultural practices, beginning with nitrogen fixation.