In 2022, Photo voltaic Meals’ unusual microbial protein Solein – made from CO2, air, and electricity – obtained regulatory approval from the Singapore Food Company (SFA).
Much less than a 365 days later the ingredient formally entered the marketplace in some unspecified time in the future of the confectionery class (the Solein Chocolate Gelato), and now Photo voltaic Meals is extending its reach into snacks by the consume of a tie-up with Finnish FMCG firm Fazer.
The puny-edition ‘Fazer Taste the Future, powered by Solein’ bar is supplied at selected The Cocoa Trees confectionery stores in Singapore.
Photo voltaic Meals is leveraging the collaboration to relish ‘precious buyer solutions’ on the ingredient’s viability in a brand recent product class, outlined CEO Pasi Vainikka, while extra broadly also getting a sense of particular person acceptance of the unusual ingredient.
What’s ‘protein made from air’?
Photo voltaic Meals was essentially based in 2017 as a spinout from Finnish overview centre VTT. The firm claims to plan the enviornment’s most sustainable protein, which is
entirely decoupled from photosynthesis and agriculture production.
Solein is in general described as being ‘made from air’. Digging deeper into its production unearths at the least three substances are extinct to plan the unusual protein: CO2, air, and electricity. More particularly, the protein is produced using a bioprocess whereby microbes are fed with gases (carbon dioxide, hydrogen and oxygen), and little amounts of nutrients.
Vainikka has previously likened the bioprocess to that extinct by winemakers, however with carbon dioxide and hydrogen replacing sugar as the provision of carbon and vitality, respectively.
Taking a witness to its nutrition credentials, Solein is belief a pair of complete protein, meaning it contains all nine wanted amino acids. The ingredient is made up of 65-70% protein, 5-8% pudgy, 10-15% dietary fibres and 3-5% mineral nutrients. The macronutrient composition of Solein cells is terribly resembling that of dried soy or algae, with micronutrients alongside side iron and B vitamins.
Photo voltaic Meals claims Solein might maybe maybe maybe moreover be extinct to exchange existing proteins in beverages, noodles and pasta, breads and spreads, and different dairy. This latter class was tested by the consume of a partnership between Photo voltaic Meals and The Lo & Ask Neighborhood-owned Fico, an Italian seaside restaurant in Singapore, which seen the advance of Solein Chocolate Gelato in 2023. Solein, alongside with vegetable oils, changed dairy in the ice cream product.
What’s a ‘Taste the Future’ bar?
And as is the point of pastime of the Photo voltaic Meals and Fazer tie-up, Solein might maybe maybe maybe moreover be extinct to raise protein suppose in the snacking class.
The 44g Taste the Future bars had been handmade in Vantaa, Finland, and exported to Finland. Every bar is made with 2% Solein protein, alongside at the least 70% darkish chocolate solids, dried strawberries, hazelnut and Nordic oat puffs. Though containing appropriate 15g Solein per 100g doesn’t formally plan the chocolate snack bar ‘high protein’, it does plan it high in iron – a micronutrient frequently lacking in plant-essentially essentially based meals.
Being unbiased in sort, Solein would not negatively impact the bar’s snack profile, meaning there’s not any must conceal its flavour. In point of fact, essentially essentially based on Fazer, the presence of Solein enhances the bar’s flavour. The the same goes for the bar’s texture, outlined Heli Anttila, VP, recent product style at Fazer Confectionery.
“Solein would not impact the texture of the snack bar. Solein is in powder structure, and the snack bar contains [just] 2% Solein.”
Collecting particular person solutions for wider launches
Photo voltaic Meals isn’t very the finest event searching for buyer solutions from the puny-edition delivery. Fazer, too, objectives to receive particular person solutions in Singapore to kind the product extra, Anttila revealed. In Singapore the snack bar isn’t very for sale, however accessible as a part of ‘commence tastings’ besides to part of a bundle offer – meaning that if customers eradicate two Fazer Chocolate containers, they might be able to receive a Taste the Future bar for free.
Fazer shall be attracted to advertising and marketing the snack bar in diversified geographies, as an illustration in the EU. However sooner than this might maybe occasionally maybe happen the ingredient requires unusual food approval from the European Food Security Authority (EFSA). This job is ongoing, we had been told. “We’re attempting ahead to this to happen at the cessation of 2025.”
Within the intervening time, Photo voltaic Meals continues to work on its first industrial production facility, Factory 01 in Vantaa, Finland, that might maybe maybe maybe moreover receive Solein to industrial scale. Factory 01 will commence up operations in H1 2024 and scale the firm’s annual production quantity up to 160 tonnes. Assuming a single meal would consume 20g of Solein, this interprets to eight million Solein-powered meals.
Certainly, Photo voltaic Meals also confirmed it is searching for pre-market authorisations in diversified geographies spherical the enviornment, with an EFSA unusual food nod expected by the cessation of subsequent 365 days. “Our shared aim extends beyond this pivotal 2d, concentrating on a remarkable broader scale European delivery in 2025-2026 with a complete vary of product,” acknowledged Photo voltaic Meals’ Vainikka.