'Air Proteins' Will Be Very Important for Our Diet in the Future

'Air Proteins' Will Be Very Important for Our Diet in the Future

A new protein has been introduced to the market and it could revolutionize how people eat in the future !

The global food landscape is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. Traditional farms are giving way to high-tech laboratories where food is grown vertically and meat is produced from cultured cells. Now, a new alternative protein source is being developed.

For years the go to protein supplement has been whey protein (derived from milk), but recently other plant based sources of protein have become more popular. The newest form of protein is: protein derived from the air

This revolutionary product, known as Solein, was launched in 2021 by Solar Foods. The company recently opened its first factory, called Factory 01, with the ambitious goal of making "air protein" a common dietary choice, thereby surpassing high-impact options like meat and dairy.

But how is Solein produced? The process is similar to beer fermentation, but with a twist: instead of using sugar, grain, and starch to produce alcohol, gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen are used. Through renewable energy, water is split to provide hydrogen to microbes, which grow by feeding on these gases and a nutrient-rich broth. Once multiplied, the microbes are separated from the liquid through centrifugation, leaving a fine powder rich in protein, ready to be transformed into various foods.

Despite its potential, Solein still faces significant challenges. The safety of hydrogen, essential in the fermentation process but highly explosive, poses a major hurdle. Solar Foods assure that they have the expertise to manage it safely, but the risk of a large-scale accident remains. Additionally, Solein is still awaiting regulatory approval in many countries, having so far only received the green light in Singapore.

Solein could become the food of the future, offering a vegan protein solution free of gluten, dairy, soy, and known allergens. Its versatility makes it suitable for many preparations, from ice cream to pasta, from snacks to "meatballs." Its main strength is its reduced environmental impact: according to Solar Foods, it is up to 100 times more eco-friendly than meat.