Plant 01 will produce protein from microbes grown with electricity and air. CEO Pasi Vainikka compares the new wave of foodtech becoming commercial at the start of the digital revolution.
Solar Foods’ new production facility, called Factory 01, is expected to begin construction in the fourth quarter of 2021 in Vantaa, Finland. The company estimates that commercial production of Solein® will begin in the first half of 2023 and that Plant 01 will serve as a platform for Solar Foods to increase production.
Factory 01 will offer the food industry and the public a whole new perspective on what the future of food will look like. At the property’s experience center, visitors can learn how solein is made and how it can be used in a wide variety of foods.
Plant 01: Increase in Solein production
Solar Foods innovative protein powder is a unique food ingredient. Solein can be used in a wide variety of foods, supplementing the nutritional profile of plant-based products and allowing them to replace foods of animal origin without compromising nutritional value. So far, Solar Foods has developed over 20 different types of food products that use Solein in varying proportions.
By removing agriculture from the equation, Solein will revolutionize food production. Land use and agriculture accounting for 24% of global emissions1, the global carbon footprint could be significantly reduced with the large-scale adoption of Solein.
The qualities of Solein and its use in various foods have been tested in a pilot plant for almost two years. The new 01 plant will enable a new scale of operations, allowing Solar Foods to commercialize Solein and chart its course towards large-scale industrial production.
“Tectonic changes are happening at our dinner tables”
Solar Foods, founded in 2017 as a spin-off of VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and LUT University, has grown rapidly. CEO and co-founder of the company Pasi Vainikka considers Solar Foods to be at the forefront of a wave of technologies that will change our perception of food. Even the daily act of eating will be a force for a more sustainable planet.
“Today we are at a crossroads with the food system as we were in the mid-1980s with information and communication technologies,” explains Vainikka. “Venture capital funds and new companies are investing billions of dollars to reinvent an entire sector of the global economy: the food industry. Tectonic changes are happening at our dinner tables. The future of food is here and is happening as we speak.
“We need more sustainable ways to feed the world. What we eat has never been static: Humanity has experienced food revolutions from the days of the first hunter-gatherers to the unsustainable industrial system of today. However, the fundamentals of food production have always remained the same. We are now in the middle of the Fourth Agricultural Revolution which is finally changing these fundamentals, and Solein is one of them. Factory 01 will lead the way in taking the world’s most sustainable protein at the global level, ”he emphasizes.
Solar Foods quickly realized its vision by developing and testing its revolutionary protein. Today the company brings the world’s most sustainable protein to our plates with its first factory and markets Solein. The next food revolution is here.
What is Solein?
- Solein is a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids. It disappears in food and does not change the taste of familiar, everyday food products.
- Solein is produced using a bioprocess where microbes are fed gas (carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and oxygen) and small amounts of nutrients. The bioprocess resembles winemaking, with carbon dioxide and hydrogen replacing sugar as the carbon and energy source, respectively.
- Solein complements the nutritional profile of plant-based food products without the consumer noticing a difference in the final dish. It can be used as a structuring ingredient, for example in alternative dairy and meat products, various snacks and drinks, noodles and pasta, or breads and spreads to replace meat, dairy products and eggs . For more information: https://www.solein.com/foods
- The production of Solein does not depend on agriculture, weather or climate: it can be produced in difficult conditions such as deserts, arctic zones, even space. The process does not require agriculture, photosynthetic plants or animals, making Solein the most sustainable protein in the world.
- Solein will be available for commercial use for the first time. It is aimed at food brands looking for nutritious, neutral, functional and sustainable protein ingredients of consistent quality that can be reliably delivered for their products.
About Solar Foods Ltd
Solar Foods produces protein using carbon dioxide captured in the air and electricity. Soleine production, regardless of weather and climate conditions, frees the world’s protein production from the limits of traditional agriculture. Soleine can be produced in harsh environments, such as desert and arctic areas or even outer space, where traditional food production is not possible. Solar Foods was founded in Espoo, Finland in 2017 by Dr Pasi Vainikka, Dr Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, Sami Holmström, Jari Tuovinen, Professor Jero Ahola and Janne Mäkelä as a spin-off of the Technical Research Center VTT of Finland and LUT University. https://solarfoods.fi
1: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2014. AR5 Climate change 2014: Climate change mitigation https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg3/