Finnish researchers have used small amounts of electricity to zap water, carbon dioxide and microbes into a crude – but nutritious – protein powder.
Researchers with the Lappeenranta University of Technology and VTT Technical Research Centre used a small bioreactor to generate the powder.
The team said the process could help to stem a growing global food crisis.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about about one in nine people around the world suffer from malnourishment.
The Food from Electricity study is part of a wider project to develop an energy system that is completely renewable and emission-free.
In a press release, the researchers said they hoped to over the next decade to develop a process that is 10 times more energy efficient than current methods for growing food.
The electrolysis-generated powder is about 50 percent protein and 25 percent carbohydrates.