BOSTON — César Vega has been named vice president of food design at Motif FoodWorks, a Boston-based food technology company.
He joins the plant-based ingredients developer from Barry Callebaut, where he was director of R&D innovation for the Americas. Before that he held several leadership roles at Mars Inc., including innovation portfolio lead and research manager for food applications. He also has dedicated time to educating others on the intersection between science, design and the culinary arts, leading lectures and seminar series at universities in Spain, Belgium, Canada, the United States and Chile.
In his newly created role, Vega will lead Motif’s food applications, culinary design, sensory and packaging teams. He will help the company deliver on its mission to improve plant-based foods by taking a holistic approach to ingredient development, said Michael Leonard, chief technology officer at Motif FoodWorks.
“When we created this role, we knew we needed an innovator with a strong background in R&D with the capability to understand the demands and challenges of pioneering the development of new products, partners and category segments within the food industry,” he said.
Vega joins Motif on the heels of its $226 million Series B fundraise last summer. Over the past year, the company has debuted several plant-based technologies, including meltable cheese, as well as the commercialization of its first technology, Hemami, which improves the taste and texture of plant-based meat analogs.
Motif late last year announced plans to open a new market development center in Northborough, Mass. It also undertook a series of academic research projects, working with food scientists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Guelph, University of Queensland, King's College, Imperial College and the University of Illinois to improve the performance of plant-based ingredients.