Solar Foods

Food Out of Thin Air: From a Vision to Concrete Action

Nov. 22, 2021
Construction of Factory 01 begins—set to produce the world’s most sustainable protein in 2023.

Factory 01 will grow protein out of microbes cultured with electricity and air. CEO Pasi Vainikka likens the new wave of food tech becoming commercial to the onset of the digital revolution.

The new Solar Foods production facility, called Factory 01, is set to begin construction in Q4 2021 in Vantaa, Finland. The company estimates that the commercial Solein production will begin in the first half of 2023 and Factory 01 will serve as Solar Foods' platform for scaling up production.

Factory 01 will offer the food industry and the public a completely new perspective into what the future of food will be. At the facility’s Experience Hub, visitors can learn how Solein is made and how it can be used in a broad variety of foods. 

Factory 01: Scaling up Solein Production

Solar Foods’ innovative protein powder is a first-of-its-kind food ingredient. Solein can be used in a wide variety of foods, supplementing the nutritional profile of plant-based products and enabling them to replace animal-based foods without compromising nutritional value. So far, Solar Foods has developed more than 20 different types of food products that use Solein in varying proportions.

By removing agriculture from the equation, Solein is set to revolutionize food production. With land use and agriculture making up 24% of global emissions, the global carbon footprint could be significantly reduced with the large-scale adoption of Solein.

Solein’s qualities and its use in different foods have been tested in a pilot factory for nearly two years. Factory 01 will enable a new scale of operations, allowing Solar Foods to commercialize Solein and chart its way towards full-scale industrial production. 

Tectonic Shifts Are Happening at Our Dinner Tables

Solar Foods, founded in 2017 as a spin-off of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and LUT University, has achieved rapid growth. The company’s CEO and co-founder Pasi Vainikka sees Solar Foods as being on the crest of a wave of technologies that will change our perception of food. Even the everyday act of eating will be a force for a more sustainable planet. 

"Today we’re at a similar crossroads with the food system as we were in the mid-1980s with information and communication technology", Vainikka explains. "VC funds and new companies are investing billions of dollars to reinvent an entire sector in the global economy: the food industry. Tectonic shifts are happening at our dinner tables. The future of food is here and happening as we speak."

"We need more sustainable ways to feed the world. What we eat has never been static: humanity has seen food revolutions from the days of the first hunter-gatherers all the way to the unsustainable industrial system of today. The fundamentals of food production have, however, always stayed the same. We’re now in the middle of the fourth agricultural revolution that is finally changing those fundamentals, and Solein is a part of it. Factory 01 will lead the way in taking the world’s most sustainable protein global" he emphasizes.

Solar Foods has made its vision a reality quickly by developing and testing its groundbreaking protein. Now the company is bringing the world’s most sustainable protein to our plates with its first factory and taking Solein to market. The next food revolution is here.