Food by Magic
Are you tired of food production methods that involve land, water, and other precious resources? Well, fear not, we can now produce food using magic! A Finnish food tech company has come up with a genius solution to our food-related woes.
Having developed a revolutionary technology called Solein that can turn carbon dioxide from the air into a protein-rich powder that can be used as an ingredient in a variety of food products, Solar Foods are reinventing the wheel (in a good way).
It's like magic, but instead of a wand, they're using microbes and some serious brainpower. This mind-bending technology makes you doubt everything you believe to be true.
The way we produce and consume food has a significant impact on the environment, we've spoken about this a lot. But as the global population continues to grow, so does the demand for food, and traditional food production methods may not be sustainable in the long run.
This is where Solar Foods comes in, a Finnish food tech company that has developed a revolutionary technology called Solein, which produces food out of thin air.
I know! WHAT!
Solein is a protein-rich powder made from a natural fermentation process using carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, water, and nutrients. The process starts by extracting CO2 from the air and combining it with water and nutrients, which are then fermented using microbes. The result is a protein-rich powder that can be used as an ingredient in various food products.
Solein is produced using electricity from solar panels, making it a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of food. By using CO2 from the air, Solein also has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions along with the land use associated with traditional food production methods.
The Real Impact...
Of course, there are several obvious benefits that make it a promising technology for the future of food. Firstly, it is a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of food. As mentioned earlier, Solein is produced using electricity from solar panels and CO2 from the air, which makes it a carbon-neutral and water-efficient source of food.
But also, it is a highly nutritious source of protein, containing all essential amino acids needed by the human body. Unlike other plant-based protein sources, Solein does not require large amounts of land or water, making it an ideal protein source for the future.
All of this combined with the versatility of Solein means that can be used in a wide range of food products, such as meat alternatives, protein bars, and more. This versatility makes it a promising ingredient for food companies looking to create sustainable and nutritious products.
Solar Foods has made significant progress in bringing their technology to the market. In 2020, the company received 10 million Euros in funding from the European Union's research and innovation program, Horizon 2020. This funding is helping the company scale up production and bring their technology to the market.
Solar Foods plans to have it's production facility in Vantaa operational by 2024, with a production capacity of 1,000 tons of Solein per year.
Solein has already been used in products such as plant-based meat alternatives and protein bars. These products have received positive reviews and are seen as a promising alternative to traditional animal-based products.
All is not well...
The potential for air-based food to solve global food and environmental challenges is enormous, and Solar Foods' Solein technology is a promising example of this. As we've already said, by using CO2 from the air and electricity from solar panels, Solein has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and land use associated with traditional food production methods.
However, there are still challenges to scaling up production and making air-based food accessible and affordable to everyone. The cost of electricity from solar panels is still relatively high, and the production of Solein requires significant investment in infrastructure and equipment.
Additionally, opinions on the taste and texture of Solein-based products vary. The taste and texture of Solein-based products will likely improve as the technology advances and becomes more widely used.
Overall, air-based food is an exciting and innovative development in the future of food, and Solar Foods' Solein technology is a promising step in this direction. As the world continues to grapple with issues such as climate change, food insecurity, and the impact of traditional food production methods on the environment, air-based food could offer a sustainable and nutritious alternative.
Sustainability at all costs...
Sustainable food production is becoming increasingly important as we face challenges such as population growth, climate change, and resource depletion. One promising approach is the use of alternative protein sources, such as plant-based proteins, cell-based meats, and microbial proteins.
Plant-based proteins, such as soy, pea, and lentil, have been widely used as alternatives to animal-based proteins. They are environmentally sustainable and provide health benefits. However, some consumers find their taste and texture less appealing than traditional animal-based products.
Cell-based meats, also known as lab-grown meats, are produced by culturing animal cells in a lab. They have the potential to reduce animal suffering and the environmental impact of traditional animal agriculture. However, they are currently expensive and not yet widely available.
Microbial proteins, such as those produced by the company Solar Foods, use bacteria to convert renewable energy and carbon dioxide into protein. This approach has the potential to produce protein in a more sustainable and efficient way than traditional agriculture. However, it is a relatively new technology and there are still questions around its scalability and safety - as with any new technology.
Overall, each of these alternative protein sources has its own advantages and challenges. It is likely that a combination of different approaches will be necessary to meet the growing demand for protein in a sustainable way. By continuing to explore and invest in these technologies, we can move towards a more sustainable food system that benefits both people and the planet.
Meyrick Consulting places leaders within the global food and ingredients industry.