Food made from air? It may sound like magic but it’s actual science.
Introducing Solein, a microbial protein-rich powder made by Solar Foods, a Finnish food tech start-up.
Unlike cultured cell-based products, Solar Foods is revolutionising how food is produced through an innovative process that provides “an endless supply of edible food with air, electricity and fermentation”.
Billed as “the world’s most sustainable, farm-free protein”, Solein is composed of 65 to 70 percent protein, 10 to 15 percent dietary fibre and 3 to 5 percent mineral nutrients.
So how is this possible? A bioprocess involving microbes, gases (carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and oxygen) and nutrients creates this nutritionally rich protein alternative. Think of it as winemaking where carbon dioxide and hydrogen replace sugar as the source of carbon and energy, respectively.
Solein is nutrient-dense with iron and B vitamins and has a macronutrient composition like dried soy or algae. It can replace meat or plant protein in everyday foods, including alternative dairy and meat, snacks and beverages, noodles and pasta, breads, and spreads.
It’s a blank slate for chefs, which means it can taste and look like anything you use it for, and can be used in any food, regardless of diet. The golden powdered protein looks like turmeric and has a delicate umami flavour.
At an exclusive tasting event at The Lo & Behold Group’s newest restaurant Fico, chefs Oliver Truesdale-Jutras (a founding member and current chair of Singapore’s Food and Beverage Sustainability Council) and Mirko Febbrile incorporated it into gourmet dishes such as pasta, sauces and even ice cream, proving that the possibilities are endless.
According to the company, Solein is a product that could transform food production and liberate the planet from industrial agriculture. The production is not reliant on agriculture, weather, or climate, and the process does not require animals or photosynthetic plants, making Solein the world’s most sustainable protein.
The first market to grant regulatory approval to Solein in 2022, Singapore will also be the first to approve the sale of Solein products in 2024.
For more information, visit solarfoods.com.