Can We Really Make Food ‘From Air’ Without Farms?

By: | January 26th, 2020

Image courtesy Solar foods

In Finland, scientists are making an entirely new ingredient out of air, water and electricity. They hope it could revolutionize the way our food is produced.

To meet the food demand of the world’s increasing population, huge stain is being put on both land and water resources.  Now Finnish company claims that we could save our planet by turning renewable energy and air directly into food. Finnish start-up ‘Solar Foods’ is developing a complete protein food.

Pasi Vainikka, CEO of Solar Foods, said, “In order to save the planet from climate change, we need to disconnect food production from agriculture,”

Process of preparing Solein is natural:

Solar Foods is creating a new natural source of protein it calls ‘Solein’. Solein is prepared using living microbes. These microbes are then grown in a fermenter in a process similar to brewing beer. Solar Foods’ microbes do not eat sugar but they only eat hydrogen bubbles, carbon dioxide, nutrients and vitamins.

Hydrogen is provided by applying electricity to water and carbon dioxide is extracted from air. Electricity required is provided by renewable energy, hence minimizing the product’s carbon footprint.

 Vainikka said, “We are doing the same thing plants are doing, but … we don’t need the sun,” “Our process is fundamentally more efficient.”

Like other protein supplements, Solein is also tasteless:

Vainikka, said, “We do not propose that people eat protein pills and powders,” “The consumer would not see the difference on their plate.”

Food for astronauts: 

At present, Solar Foods is working with the European Space Agency to find out the ways to use Solein for astronauts while in orbit.

Vainikka said, “You end up with a powder that is about 65 percent protein and carbs and fats,”

Company claims production of Solein is 100 times more eco friendly than meat. It is even 10 times better than plant-based proteins. Moreover it requires much less water.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

More articles from Industry Tap...