In this file:


·         Air-based meat is here — but what exactly is it?

·         Get the skinny on meat substitutes



Air-based meat is here — but what exactly is it?


By Monica Watrous, Food Business News



BERKELEY, CALIF. — A growing number of companies are making meat out of plants. A Bay Area start-up is making meat out of air.


Air Protein uses a proprietary probiotic process that transforms the basic elements found in air, including carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen, plus renewable energy, mineral nutrients and water, into protein that may be used to make meatless burgers, protein-enriched pasta, cereal, beverages and more.


Air-based meat has nine essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It is free of pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics.


But what does it taste like?


“Our air-based protein flour is a neutral ingredient, making it wonderful for its versatility because it can be added to many formulations,” said Lisa Dyson, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of Air Protein. “This has enabled us to make very flavorful air-based meats. As we develop a range of foods, our focus will be marrying the ultra sustainability and high nutritious content of our novel protein ingredient with flavors and texture to delight consumers.”


The production process, Dr. Dyson explained, is similar to making yogurt and was inspired by a “closed-loop carbon cycle” concept developed in the 1960s to feed astronauts during long space missions. Astronauts eat food and then exhale carbon dioxide, which is captured by a class of microbes called hydrogenotrophs, which, with other inputs, convert it into food. Eat. Repeat.


Air Protein plans to launch air-based foods into the market next year and may pursue partnerships with other companies to incorporate the ingredient into more products, Dr. Dyson said.


“We are most excited to change the way food is made to usher in a new era of sustainability,” she said...





Get the skinny on meat substitutes


Barbara Quinn, The Tribune-Review (PA)

November 26, 2019


There seems to be a lot of clamoring to replace real meat in the marketplace. Here are some things to consider:


We need protein. In fact, experts predict that within the next 30 years, the world will need to produce 50% more protein to adequately feed everyone on this planet. Some people feel that needs to be done without the help of animals, who provide high quality protein from poultry, fish, eggs, meat, milk and cheese. And they also aren’t too fond of the potential to harness insects as a food source for our expanding world population.


Plant foods supply protein as well. And meat substitutes made with soy, quinoa, peas and other vegetable proteins have been around for decades. Here are the ingredients (from most to least) in Morningstar Farms Grillers Original Veggie Burger, for example: water, wheat gluten, soy flour, vegetable oils, egg whites, calcium caseinate, corn starch, onion and soy powders, methylcellulose, onion and carrot concentrates, salt, natural flavor, soy protein isolate, garlic powder, spices, sugar, gum acacia, whey, yeast extract, xanthan gum, tomato starch, tomato paste and onion juice concentrate. Protein? 16 grams in a 2-ounce patty, about what you’d get in two eggs.


Now we have the Impossible burger that pops up on every other commercial. This product claims to be everything we love about beef except it’s not beef. Protein in a 4-ounce serving: 19 grams.


And now … ready for this? … there is a meatless “air-based meat” made with elements found in the air — carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen. These are blended with water and minerals and fermented to produce protein. Yum.


Real beef is produced the old-fashioned way by cows who eat plant food. It has one ingredient: beef, which is naturally rich in protein (23 grams in 4 ounces), iron, zinc, selenium and B-vitamins.


How do these products rate nutritionally? Ounce for ounce, a Morningstar veggie burger contains less saturated fat than lean beef...