Many current food trends can be clustered under the motto “sustainability,” as the need for more sustainable, climate-friendly offerings for a more mindful diet in the sense of the Planetary Health Diet is a major social need right now. But where many companies are trying to reduce CO2 emissions with their offerings, there are now even solutions for which this very CO2 in the air is the central raw material for production. Finnish food tech startup Solar Foods has developed a process to do just that. The protein powder “Solein” they produce is mainly made of CO2 from the air, which is fabricated into protein powder with the help of electricity. This powder is said to resemble wheat flour in appearance and taste and, according to the company, is used as a dietary supplement. Because it has a very high protein content of over 50 percent, it is also considered a soy substitute or an alternative to animal or vegetable protein.
A few years ago, the American company Air Company attracted attention when it launched a vodka based on CO2. According to the founders, one bottle of vodka contains as much CO2 as eight trees. The process works in a similar way to photosynthesis in plants: Solar energy is used to convert carbon into pure ethanol. In the meantime, Air Company also offers perfume and hand sanitizer in addition to vodka – naturally also with a negative carbon footprint.
Best Practices: Solar Foods , Air Company