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Scientists Synthesize Food With Little Electric Shocks

Researchers in Finland are using electricity to generate food from microbes and other components, a process meant to help fight world hunger.

A bioreactor in Finland creates protein powder

Photo: Lappeenranta University of Technology

A small bioreactor at the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland can create about one gram of protein powder in two weeks.

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.

Read More:

  • Finnish Scientists Have Worked Out How To Make Food From Electricity (Quartz)
  • A Team of Scientists Just Made Food From Electricity — and it Could be the Solution to World Hunger (Futurism)
Chad Bouchard

Chad Bouchard is a veteran reporter and WFIU alum who has covered wild and wooly beats from Indonesia to Capitol Hill. His radio work has aired on NPR, PRI and Voice of America, and his writing has appeared in The Sunday Telegraph and Scientific American’s health magazine, Lives. He has also spent a lifetime gardening, foraging and eating weird stuff.

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