Believe it or not, but a FINNISH startup called Solar Foods is creating a natural protein source using carbon dioxide, water and renewable electricity. Company is planning to bring it to grocery stores as an “alternative” protein in the next two years. They call it Solein.
- Solein was basically developed for a NASA space mission.
- It is made through fermentation, like beer or lab-grown meat.
- It is a flour-like ingredient that contains 50 percent protein content, 5-10 percent fat, and 20-25 percent carbs.
- It tastes similar to wheat flour and doesn’t require any agricultural land or processing. Therefore it would be unaffected by climate change.
- Solar Foods claims that Solein is 100 times more climate-friendly than other sources of protein, even plants based alternatives.
- Energy efficiency of this process is reported to be 10 times better than photosynthesis.
Considering the ever increasing need to feed the growing population, such a technology could help alleviate this growing crisis.
According to Solar Foods, “Producing Solein is entirely free from agriculture — it doesn’t require arable land or irrigation and isn’t limited by climate conditions,”
“It can be produced anywhere around the world, even in areas where conventional protein production has never been possible.”
At present, coffee-machine sized benchtop facilities take about a fortnight to produce one gram of protein powder. So lot more research and work is to be done to make protein reactors commercially viable.