Air Protein is a Berkeley-based company using CO2-fed microbes to produce protein in the form of air-based meat. Air Protein states their mission is to replace animal agriculture with the most sustainable protein. Air Protein is believed to be the first to develop the process for producing human food with CO2-fed microbes, but other companies have developed CO2-fed microbial systems for animal and fish feed production. Air Protein uses microorganisms called hydrogenotrophs to produce a protein-based powder that can be constituted into a meat-like product with applications in protein flour for pasta, cereal and bars.
In November 2019 the company announced the creation of the first air-based meat created from elements in the air. The meat is produced without traditional land, water and weather requirements. The process combines elements in the air and combines them with water and mineral nutrients. Renewable energy and a microbial production process are used to convert the elements from the air into a nutrient-rich protein claimed to have the same amino acid profile as an animal protein including crucial B vitamins that can be deficient in a vegan diet. Protein is made in a matter of days in a process similar to making yogurt or beer, requiring a fraction of the land used for traditional meat production. A proprietary probiotic production process is used.
Air Protein's carbon transformation technology was developed by Kiverdi. Air Protein is a sister company of Keverdi, which is focused on using carbon dioxide to make environmentally friendly products like plastics and soil. Air Protein's technology was inspired by NASA's closed loop carbon cycle concepts for long-journey space missions. NASA discovered the class of microbes called hydrogenotrophs which, like plants, convert carbon dioxide into food. Air Protein's founder, Lisa Dyson, who has a doctoral in physics from MIT, reasoned that Earth, with its limited resources and need to recycle carbon dioxide, is like a giant spaceship.
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- BiotechnologyBiotechnology in a broad sense includes the use of living systems and organisms, as well as their parts for the development or production of products.
- Cell-based and plant-based meatTopics related to cultured meat, plant-based meat, and cellular agriculture.
- Clean technologyA process, product, or service which reduces negative impacts on the environment while offering competitive returns for investors and customers. Clean technologies provide solutions which reduce energy usage, use sustainable resources, or protect the environment.
- KiverdiKiverdi is a Hayward, California-based carbon capture and storage company working to commercialize technology using chemoautotrophic microbes to transform carbon dioxide and related gases into bio-based products.
- Cellular agricultureCellular agriculture is an interdisciplinary scientific field drawing from synthetic biology, genetic engineering, molecular biology, tissue engineering, biochemistry, and food science to design organisms capable of producing a wide variety of agricultural products.
- NovoNutrientsNovoNutrients produce microbes that break down industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and reassemble them into aquaculture feed.