While we can’t snap our fingers and procure a steak from thin air, this is as close as we’ve been to doing something so futuristic and outlandish.
Air Protein is a California-based food tech start-up that captures carbon from the air to turn it into protein (news from Plant Based News). The company was inspired by NASA research in the 1970s that focused on novel ways to feed astronauts on long space missions.
The company uses a process it calls “Air Faming” to create its protein products, and uses a base of carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, and water. Cultures are added to these ingredients, and then fermented (in a process similar to beer fermentation). The air protein is harvested and purified after a few days, and then dreid to create a rich protein flour. The flour contains the same protien flour as animal protein, and is more nutrient dense than soy protein.
Air Protein then has the ability to create vegan meat analogs, like pork, fish, chicken, or steak. To create these varietiets of alternative protein, the company adds different oils, nutrients, and flavorings to the flour-like protein powder.
In addition to being vegan, the products are also carbon negative since they sequestor carbon from the atmosphere. Air Protein is currently in the process of scaling up production of its air-based meat.