A team of Finnish researchers has produced a lot of single-cell protein that is healthy enough to serve for dinner using a system powered by renewable power. The whole process requires just electricity, water, microbes, and carbon dioxide. The synthetic food was shaped as part of the Food from Electricity project, which is cooperation between VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT).
The future food is made by a Finnish research team using electricity. If scaling it up proves to be victorious, it could be a tool in the battle against world hunger and environmental change.
The raw materials electrolysis in a bioreactor, the procedure forms a crushed powder that consists of more than 50% protein and 25 % carbohydrates — the texture can also be altered by changing the microbes used in the manufacturing process.
Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, principal scientist at VTT, said that the next phase is to optimize the scheme because, at present, a bioreactor the size of a coffee cup takes approximately two weeks to generate one gram of the protein. Pitkänen said in a VTT & LUT PR, “We are now focusing on developing the technology: reactor concepts, technology, refining efficiency, and calculating the process.”
He forecasted that it may take about a decade sooner than a more efficient incarnation of the system would be widely accessible — “Maybe 10 years is a sensible and particle time frame for reaching marketable capacity, in terms of the essential legislation and process technology.”
IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT HUNGER!
The possibility of food produced using electricity and other extensively accessible raw materials are massive. At present, there are two major ways that it could be used.
First, as a means of feeding starving people and providing a foundation of food in areas that are not suitable for agricultural production. Pitkänen said that, in upcoming days, “the technology can be ecstatic too, for instance, deserts and other areas facing famine,” providing a basis for cheap and nutritious food to those who want it most.
The machine also works separately of ecological factors, meaning that it could feed people constantly — Jero Ahola, a Professor at LUT, said in the press release that it “does not necessitate a location with the conditions for farming, such as the correct temperature, moisture or a certain soil type.”
Secondly, decreasing the global emissions by dropping the demand for food livestock and the crops required to feed them. Currently, the industry of meat accounts for between 14 and 18 % of worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as captivating up swaths of land that could be functional for other ends.
The food from electricity scheme could reduce the quantity of indefensible farming needed to fill up our bellies as it supplies us with a lesser, cheaper, and renewable technique of getting our nutrients. Other solutions to this crisis include lab-grown meat or rotating to insect farming, which produces less waste and requires a smaller amount power.