The meatless meat trend has taken off in recent years, although it hasn’t quite had the mainstream staying power many of its parent companies have hoped for in recent months.
One of the “new kids on the block” is a type of meat substitute created by a California startup, which says its goal is to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions by creating something that has never been seen in supermarkets before.
According to physicist Lisa Dyson, the novel food has “the taste and texture of meat,” but does not come from animals.
It all comes from “elements of air,” and now the question is whether or not it will gain a foothold in the meat market.
“We Can Grow Enough Material to Make a Steak in a Matter of Hours”
The meat is created using a fermentation process, Dyson said, but instead of using microbes that feed on milk and sugar, it’s made from others that feed on oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide the produce the faux-meat.
“You start out with cultures,” Dyson, the founder and CEO of Air Protein, said to CBS News.
“You feed it elements of the air and it grows and grows and grows just like that yogurt culture. You dry that and you get to a protein rich flour.”
This flour is then made into a chicken, seafood or beef type of texture, she added.
“We can grow enough material to make a steak in a matter of hours,” Dyson said.
The concept was first created in the 1960s and 70s as a way to recycle carbon dioxide exhaled by astronauts to be turned into food.
The new Air Chicken is expected to hit store shelves next year if approval is granted from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.