Vegan meat made from the air? It’s not as crazy as it sounds

It may be April, but we promise not to fool you with this news: your next alternative protein could be made from the air. If that sounds crazy, let us explain. Using a complex process that compresses recycled carbon emissions, food tech startup Air Protein is making vegan steak, chicken, pork and seafood, literally from scratch. Air Protein boasts that its breakthrough protein is carbon negative, massively scalable, and requires fewer resources to manufacture than traditional protein.

“Air fermentation begins with the same basic elements that all plant life needs to thrive – air, water and renewable energy. The elements of air are mixed with our crops until that they produce protein within hours – a process similar to how yogurt, cheese and wine are made,” according to the post on Air Protein’s website. “Protein produced by cultures is harvested and purified, then dried to remove water. The result is a super clean, high protein meal – nutritious, versatile and ready to be made into any meat.”

“Finally, in a process similar to how you might turn flour into pasta, we apply culinary techniques to Air Protein Flour to create textures and flavors while working to give the airy meat the same taste and flavor. same texture as traditional chicken, beef, pork, and seafood.”

If that sounds much more futuristic than our current food industry innovations, consider this: Vegan protein alternatives are already being made from abundant resources such as duckweed, green leaves and hemp as well as mushrooms and kelp. By that logic, using CO2 emissions in tandem with water and energy to create a fermented flour-like base isn’t so far-fetched.

More durable than alternatives

One of the advantages of this unusual technique is that it is planet-friendly: Air Protein does not require any arable land to produce. All that is needed is to recycle purified CO2 and other elements from air, renewable energy, water and minerals, then feed them into a culture to nurture and grow proteins, with no emission of greenhouse gases in the process.

According to the makers, Air Protein can be made in a sustainable and efficient time frame. “Aerial meat uses 524,000 times less land and 112,000 times less water per kg than traditional meat production. It also takes much less time. For example, it takes two years to make a traditional steak, at from the time a cow is born, nurtured, and grown to the time it is processed.Air Protein, on the other hand, can be produced in hours or days.

Air Protein was founded in 2019 by CEO Dr Lisa Dyson and already has some powerhouse names backing the brand, winning awards such as the SXSW Interactive Innovation Award, Davos World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer Award and receiving nearly $33 million in investments during its run. A funding round led by ADM Ventures, Barclays and Google Ventures (GV).

Although Air Protein is not yet available at retailers across the United States, the brand promises consumers that the launch will happen soon as the company ramps up production to meet projected demand. For announcements on this timeline, follow Air Protein on Instagram.

For more plant-based products and events, explore The Beet’s News articles.

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