Here's why you might eat greenhouse gases in the future.
The company's protein powder,"Solein,"is similar in form and taste to wheat flour.
Based on a concept developed by NASA,the product has wide potential as a carbon-neutral source of protein.
The man-made"meat"industry just got even more interesting.
It's not like you can make food out of thin air.Well…it turns out you can.A company from Finland,Solar Foods,is planning to bring to market a new protein powder,Solein,made out of CO₂,water and electricity.It's a high-protein,flour-like ingredient that contains 50 percent protein content,5–10 percent fat,and 20–25 percent carbs.It reportedly looks and tastes like wheat flour,and could become an ingredient in a wide variety of food products after its initial launch in 2021.
It's likely to first appear on grocery shelves in protein shakes and yogurt.It could be an exciting development:Solein's manufacturing process is carbon neutral and the potential for scalability seems unlimited—we've got too much CO₂,if anything.Why not get rid of some greenhouse gas with a side of fries?
Solar Foods makes Solein by extracting CO₂from air using carbon-capture technology,and then combines it with water,nutrients and vitamins,using 100 percent renewable solar energy from partner Fortum to promote a natural fermentation process similar to the one that produces yeast and lactic acid bacteria.
Solar Foods 利用碳捕捉技术从空气中提取二氧化碳，然后与水、营养物质和维生素结合，利用合作伙伴 Fortum 公司100%可再生的太阳能促进自然发酵过程，类似于产生酵母和乳酸菌的过程。
When the company claims its single-celled protein is"free from agricultural limitations,"they're not kidding.Being produced indoors means Solar Foods is not dependent on arable land,water(i.e.,rain),or favorable weather.
The company is already working with the European Space Agency to develop foods for off-planet production and consumption.(The idea for Solein actually began at NASA.)They also see potential in bringing protein production to areas whose climate or ground conditions make conventional agriculture impossible.
该公司已经与欧洲航天局合作，开发用于星球外生产和消费的食品。(设计 Solein 的想法实际上始于美国宇航局。)他们还看到了将蛋白质生产带到气候或地面条件使传统农业无法进行的地区的潜力。
And let's not forget all those beef-free burgers based on pea and soy proteins currently gaining popularity.The environmental challenge of scaling up the supply of those plants to meet their high demand may provide an opening for the completely renewable Solein—the company could provide companies that produce animal-free"meats,"such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods,a way to further reduce their environmental impact.
让我们不要忘记那些不含牛肉的汉堡，它们的原料是豌豆和大豆蛋白，目前正在流行。扩大这些工厂的供应以满足其高需求的环境挑战，可能为完全可再生的太阳能提供了一个机会。该公司可以为 Beyond Meat 和 Impossible Foods 等生产无动物"肉类"的公司提供一种进一步减少对环境影响的方法。
The larger promise
The impact of the beef—and for that matter,poultry,pork,and fish—industries on our planet is widely recognized as one of the main drivers behind climate change,pollution,habitat loss,and antibiotic-resistant illness.From the cutting down of rainforests for cattle-grazing land,to runoff from factory farming of livestock and plants,to the disruption of the marine food chain,to the overuse of antibiotics in food animals,it's been disastrous.
The advent of a promising source of protein derived from two of the most renewable things we have,CO₂and sunlight,gets us out of the planet-destruction business at the same time as it offers the promise of a stable,long-term solution to one of the world's most fundamental nutritional needs.
Image source:Lubsan/Shutterstock/Big Think
While company plans are always moderated by unforeseen events—including the availability of sufficient funding—Solar Foods plans a global commercial rollout for Solein in 2021 and to be producing two million meals annually,with a revenue of$800 million to$1.2 billion by 2023.By 2050,they hope to be providing sustenance to 9 billion people as part of a$500 billion protein market.
虽然公司的计划总是受到一些不可预见的事件的影响，包括资金的充裕程度，但 Solar Foods 计划在2021年为 Solein 进行全球商业推广，每年生产200万份膳食，到2023年收入将达到8亿至12亿美元。到2050年，他们希望作为5000亿美元蛋白质市场的一部分，为90亿人提供食物。
The project began in 2018,and this year,they anticipate achieving three things:Launching Solein(check),beginning the approval process certifying its safety as a Novel Food in the EU,and publishing plans for a 1,000-metric ton-per-year factory capable of producing 500 million meals annually.