Dishes made using Solein© Solar Foods

This Company Is Making Bread & Ice Cream Out Of Thin Air

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

The future is here and we have AI programmes that can make your vacation picture turn into a Van Gogh masterpiece and we have food that has been, literally, conjured out of thin air.

The latter is the brainchild of Finland-based startup Solar Foods. The company has managed to create a protein using air, electricity, water, and microbes.

This substance, which is called Solein, can be used to make anything from bread, and pasta, to ice cream.

Solein looks like turmeric powder and, reportedly, tastes like a nutty mixture of almonds and cashews. According to the company, it has 65-70 percent protein, 5-8 percent fat, and a composition that’s similar to that of dried soy or algae.

The revolutionary concept is a big leap forward in sustainable food production practices as it replaces the need for industrial farming completely. Solein is made with a process that’s close to brewing beer. Instead of sugar, microbes feed on nitrogen and carbon dioxide and begin to grow. The excess water is removed and the substance is dried to form the powder.

“This is the first time in history that humankind can be provided with edible calories that at no point require photosynthesis. So far photosynthetic plants have been the only feasible way to receive energy from the sun to feed humankind. Now, this process can be bypassed in its entirety. That’s an absolutely historic moment. A new era begins in the primary production of food and restoring biodiversity,” says Solar Foods CEO Pasi Vainikka.

It won’t be widely available for consumption until 2024 and, for now, the company is collaborating with food companies and restaurants to include the ingredient in their menu.