Can you imagine protein made of thin air? Finnish food tech company Solar Foods has held an inaugural tasting event in Singapore for its alt-protein Solein, which is made out of CO2.
The event follows the alt-protein’s recent regulatory approval as a novel food in the city-state last September.
Solar Foods CEO Pasi Vainikka, emphasised the importance of this innovation, marking the first time in history that edible calories can be produced without the need for photosynthesis.
“So far, photosynthetic plants have been the only feasible way to receive energy from the sun to feed humankind,” explained Vainikka.
“Now, this process can be bypassed in its entirety. A new era begins in the primary production of food and restoring biodiversity.”
Unlike traditional protein sources, Solein is cultivated without soil, using a farm-free bioprocess that combines carbon dioxide (air) and electricity. This innovative approach positions Solein as a versatile all-purpose ingredient capable of replacing animal- and plant-based proteins.
Solein is a microbial protein-rich powder containing all essential amino acids and can serve as a versatile replacement for existing proteins, including dairy, meat, snacks, beverages, noodles, pasta, bread, and spreads.
Produced via a bioprocess that resembles winemaking, Solein’s production does not rely on agriculture, weather or climate.
The company added that the sustainable protein could seamlessly integrate into familiar foods without compromising their original flavours, with a delicately unique taste boasting a pleasant umami note.
“Food is a very personal thing: we are attached to our favourite foods and their tastes,” concluded Vainikka.
“We want Solein to let those familiar tastes shine, not take their place. The future can taste like anything we want it to taste.”
Solar Foods plans to open Finland’s first commercial-scale production facility, Factory 01, next year.