Solar Foods

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Solar Foods Oy (Solar Foods Ltd)
Company typeOsakeyhtiö[1]
Founded2017; 7 years ago (2017)[1]
FounderJuha-Pekka Pitkänen, Pasi Vainikka, Sami Holmström, Jero Ahola, Janne Mäkelä, Jari Tuovinen[2]
HeadquartersHelsinki, Finland[1]
Key people
Pasi Vainikka, CEO[1]

Solar Foods is a producer of single cell protein (a meat substitute) founded in 2017.


Solar Foods Ltd. manufactures Solein, single cell protein. As well as having a high-protein content (50%), the flour-like ingredient contains 5–10 percent fat, and 20–25 percent carbohydrates. It is reported to look and taste like wheat flour. The product's initial launch is set to be in 2021.[3][4][5]

Solein is made by extracting carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and combining it with water, nutrients and vitamins. Electricity is needed for the process, but solar energy from Fortum (its partner) is used. A natural fermentation process then occurs[6] which is similar to the one produced by yeast and lactic acid bacteria.

It's been claimed the product could have a revolutionary impact on food production. [7] [8] The company predicts its products may become more cost efficient than the currently cheapest source of protein (soya from South America) by about 2025. It's been stated that the land efficiency for Solar Foods methods is about 20,000 times greater than for conventional farming.[7]

Michael Le Page for the New Scientist took a more sceptical view, noting that the x20,000 improvement only applies to the factories themselves. If land use for Solar panels is taken into account, then land efficiency only improves by about x10. Despite his doubts over how beneficial the technology will be overall, Le Page stated that "the potential rewards are so immense that we should be pouring vast sums of money into finding out."[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Kauppalehti. "Solar Foods Oy | Yritys- ja taloustiedot | Kauppalehti". Tärkeimmät talousuutiset | Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  2. ^ Lappalainen, Elina. "Virtuaalitodellisuutta, kvanttitietokoneita, uusia materiaaleja ja laite kuvankäsittelyyn – Tässä ovat Suomen 10 lupaavimmat startup-yritykset 2020" [Virtual reality, quantum computers, new materials and device for image processing - Here are Finland's 10 most promising startups in 2020]. Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  3. ^ "NASA worked out how to make food out of thin air - and it could feed billions". Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Finnish Company Uses NASA's Concept to Create Food from Thin Air". Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  5. ^ "This company wants to help cut meat's carbon footprint". Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  6. ^ Lascelles, Alice (29 May 2020). "Can making food from CO2 help our overburdened planet?". Financial Times. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  7. ^ a b George Monbiot (September 24, 2019). "Lab-grown food will soon destroy farming – and save the planet". The Guardian. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Apocalypse Cow (Channel 4 2019 documentary)
  9. ^ Michael Le Page (January 10, 2020). "Can we really save the planet by making food 'from air' without farms?". New Scientist. Retrieved February 2, 2020.

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