Finnish food company Fazer has introduced a limited-edition snack bar in Singapore, containing Solar Foods’ novel Solein protein ingredient.
Founded in Finland in 2017, Solar Foods produces its protein ingredient using carbon dioxide and electricity. Its mission is to liberate global protein production from the constraints of traditional agriculture.
Solein is produced out of a microbe sourced from Finnish nature. The microbe is grown to a protein powder in a bioprocess powered by electricity and carbon dioxide. The process requires only a fraction of the water and arable land that production of meat or plant protein uses, creating food “virtually out of thin air”.
Solar Foods received a novel food regulatory approval for Solein in Singapore in September 2022, clearing its sale and use in food products in the city state.
Now, Fazer’s ‘Taste the Future’ bar – launched in selected Cocoa Tree stores across Singapore – represents a milestone for Solein as it marks the first time consumers can try the ingredient within a snack product.
The bar is a vegan-friendly, palm oil-free snack bar made from 70% dark chocolate, hazelnut, dried strawberries and crunchy oat puffs. The recipe includes 2% Solein, which provides a source of iron, fibre and B vitamins.
Solein can also offer different functionalities, for example as a structure-forming ingredient in food products.
The limited-edition snack bars were produced in Vantaa, Finland, by Fazer. The Solein used comes from Solar Foods’ pilot factory, capable of producing small quantities of the novel protein.
Solar Foods’ first commercial-scale production facility will begin operations this year, set to scale the company’s annual production volume up to 160 tonnes. Assuming a single meal would use 20 grams of protein, this translates to eight million meals. The company closed an €8 million funding round in November last year.
Co-founder and CEO of Solar Foods, Pasi Vainikka, said: “With this introduction in Singapore, we are getting valuable customer feedback on Solein’s viability in a new product category and getting a sense of the consumer acceptance of future ingredients”.
He added: “Our shared aim extends beyond this pivotal moment, targeting a wider-scale European launch in 2025-2026 with a whole range of products”.