What seems like a story right out of a science fiction novel is becoming a reality. Not that that was not the case with a large number of things in the past, but this one seems more surreal than the others. It turns out we will be able to create food out of thin air. Solar Foods, a company from Finland, plans to bring a new type of protein powder to the market.
The powder is called Solein, and it is made out of CO₂ (carbon dioxide), electricity, and water. It resembles flour, looks, and taste, and we should be able to use it as an ingredient in a large variety of dishes in the near future. Since our amounts of CO₂ are infinite, this could prove to be a valuable source of food.
How Is Solein Created
The powder contains 50% protein, 25% carbs, and 10% fat. It will most likely appear in stores as a part of yogurt and protein shakes for starters. Solein is made by extracting carbon dioxide from the air by a unique technology developed by Solar Foods. They then combine it with water and various vitamins and nutrients. Another thing worth mentioning is that during this process, they are only using solar energy that is 100% renewable.
This makes the process of creating Solein similar to the natural processes of creating yeast. Since this product is created indoors, it is not dependable on any outside effects, such as favorable weather. The idea for producing food from air originated in NASA, and now Solar Foods are working together with the European Space Agency to make Solein available for production and consumption in space.
The Influence Of Solein On The Environment
Another thing that Solein will make possible is to bring more developed food production to parts of the world where agriculture is not possible or sustainable due to climate conditions. Solar Foods could also leave an impact on the market of beef-free burgers, a food that has been getting increasingly popular in the last few years. Since one of the reasons for the existence of those burgers is the reduction of the impact on the environment made by the production of meat, Solein would help lessen that impact further.
The beef, pork, and fish industries are one of the leading forces that influenced large scale events and processes that negatively shape our planet. Climate change and pollution are only a few of those and are the most well known. Since Solein is a source of protein that is created from carbon dioxide and using the energy of the sun, it could help reduce the damage we do to our planet in a big way. Currently, Solar Foods plans to make Solein commercially available in 2021. The project was first conceived in 2018, and the goal of the company is to be the provider of sustenance for 9 billion people by the year 2050.