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Meat made from thin air?

This year has been marked by food innovators pushing boundaries, particularly when it comes to alternative proteins, and one of the most extraordinary is the new leveraging of an old NASA technology by US startup, Air Protein.

To a deluge of media coverage, the San Francisco Bay-Area based company announced on November 12 the creation [pictured above] of the first air-based meat created from elements found in the air we breathe, produced without the traditional land, water and weather requirements.

“This marks the first time in history air-based meat has been created. By transforming elements of the air we breathe into protein, this will revolutionise how we approach food production in the future,” says Air Protein CEO, Dr Lisa Dyson .

“The process to create this new form of protein uses elements found in the air and is combined with water and mineral nutrients. It uses renewable energy and a probiotic production process to convert the elements into a nutrient-rich protein with the same amino acid profile as an animal protein and packed with crucial B vitamins, which are often deficient in a vegan diet.”

The UN FAO predicts farmers will need to increase food production by 70% with only 5% land increase to meet the expected growing population of 10B people by 2050. 

“Air-based meat offers an elegant solution to that equation,” she adds. “The technology to produce the protein found in air-based meat allows for protein to be made in a matter of days instead of months, and independently of weather conditions or seasons.

“The process is similar to making yogurt or beer and requires just a tiny fraction of the land used in traditional meat production.

“The world is embracing plant-based meat and we believe air-based meat is the next evolution of the sustainably-produced food movement that will serve as one of the solutions to feeding a growing population without putting a strain on natural resources.”

Air Protein leverages carbon transformation technology developed by Kiverdi, which was inspired by NASA’s closed-loop carbon cycle concepts for long-journey space missions. The protein found in air-based meat is produced using natural processes, and made completely free of any use of pesticides, herbicides, hormones or antibiotics.

See more at, and watch Dr Dyson’s TED Talk below.

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