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American startup Air Protein aims to create an alternative to meat made out of air.
The Berkeley company, which claims it’s a first of its kind, uses a technique discovered by NASA in the 60s, whereby a class of microbes called hydrogenotrophic convert CO2 into protein in the form of a flavorless powder.
‘A complete protein’
The powder / flour can then be reconstituted to make food such as pasta, cereals, and now, an alternative to ‘conventional meat products’.
According to the startup’s website, the flour is a ‘complete protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the human diet’, is rich in vitamins and minerals including B12, and is free from pesticides and hormones.
CEO Lisa Dyson says the company’s process is better for the environment too, citing research that suggests it uses 1,000 times less land and water than other protein sources such as soybeans.
“The reason why we’re excited about commercializing food products with this is because of all the challenges we’re facing with arable land,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Air Protein aims to announce a product launch that consumers will be able to buy in 2020 – but no other details have been revealed.