Solar Foods’ microbial protein used in gelato
Singapore-based restaurant Fico has created the “world’s first” Solein gelato, made from Finnish food tech company Solar Foods’ novel microbial protein, Solein.
Solein is hailed as “the world’s most sustainable protein” as it is made from air. Solein is a microbial protein-rich powder that contains all the essential amino acids. It can be used to replace existing proteins in a variety of foods, such as in alt-dairy and meat, different snacks and beverages, noodles and pasta, or breads and spreads.
Solein is produced using a bioprocess where microbes are fed with carbon dioxide, hydrogen, oxygen and small amounts of nutrients. Solar Foods received regulatory approval to sell Solein in Singapore in September last year.
Fico – a concept by hospitality company The Lo & Behold Group – has developed Solein Chocolate Gelato, an ice cream that combines the novel ingredient with chocolate. It is available to purchase now from the restaurant.
Solar Foods’ CCO Shilei Zhang said: “If you didn’t know, you could not guess this gelato includes an entirely new, unique and nutritious ingredient just by tasting it. It looks, feels and tastes just like any other Italian gelato – and that is exactly the idea. Solein is the ‘intel inside’ of the food industry.”
Last month, Solar Foods and Japanese food and biotech corporation the Ajinomoto Group announced a strategic alliance, Solar Foods’ first partnership with a global food brand. The alliance includes an agreement to develop products using Solein and to conduct a marketability study, set to begin in Q1 2024.
Solar Foods’ new facility, Factory 01, is under construction in Finland and is expected to begin production in 2024, bringing the company's Solein production to a commercial scale.