Finnish FMCG firm Solar Foods is in the process of bringing to market a new protein powder called Solein.
Food can come out of thin air… literally!
- With key ingredients being CO₂, water and electricity; Solein is a high-protein, flour-like powder containing 50 percent protein content, 5–10 percent fat, and 20–25 percent carbs.
- Solein has texture and taste resembling wheat flour, which makes it an ideal ingredient for a wide range of food products.
- On initial launch in 2021, it’s expected to first appear on grocery shelves in protein shakes and yogurt.
- The manufacturing process for Solein is carbon neutral with an unlimited potential for scalability owing to the abundance of CO₂ on earth.
- The process extracts CO₂ from the air using carbon-capture technology, which is then mixed with water, nutrients, and vitamins.
- The process uses 100 percent renewable solar energy and spurs a natural fermentation process like the one used in yeast and lactic acid bacteria.
- The single-celled protein granules are unhindered by agricultural limitations like arable land, water (i.e., rain), or favorable weather as they are produced indoors.
- In fact, the idea of Solein was germinated in NASA and Solar Foods is working in tandem with the ESA to develop food for off-planet production and consumption.
The advent of a promising source of protein from renewable CO₂ and sunlight, offers a stable, long-term solution to the world’s most fundamental nutritional needs.
- The powder has a potential market of billions where climate or ground conditions limit conventional agriculture production.
- Solar Foods is expected to initiate the global commercial rollout of Solein in 2021. It forecasts producing two million meals annually adding to its revenue of $800 million to take it up to $1.2 billion by 2023.
- The makers believe they will be catering to 9 billion people as part of a $500 billion protein market.