Solar Foods says it has concocted a natural protein source from a blend of water, carbon dioxide, and renewable electricity.
What if we could transmute carbon dioxide into food and consume it? Solar Foods, a startup in Finland, is actually scheming to introduce a product like this to market, resultant in the “most environmentally friendly food there is.” Dr. Juha-Pekka Pitkanen, a scientist from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, evidenced commercial and successful with developing the product and ultimately teamed up with Pasi Vainikka (who serves now as CEO of Solar Foods, their joint venture). They measure their outcomes as “food out of thin air,” and as forward-looking as it sounds, their startup is already creating mockups on their initial product — Solein — which they trust to be selling by 2021 latest.
Solein commences life as a powder that is manufactured in a process somewhat analogous to wine-making. Though, rather than yeast, Solar Foods utilizes a patented bacteria, and as an alternative to grapes, they nourish the bacteria with hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and additional nutrients. The resulting fluid can be drained into a powdered protein that Vainikka informed the press is a tad like wheat flour, however with really little flavor outside of a minor touch of umami. “The taste will be made in the final application, whether you make an ice cream, a plant-based meat alternative, bread, or pasta,” he remarked. Not only does Vainikka claim that the powder is healthier for the planet than meat, he states it’s more environmentally-amiable than plant-based proteins, also — by his estimates 100X better than any other protein, employing 10 times less land than soy and 250 times less water.
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