A group of scientists has teamed up to develop a technique that could end world hunger someday. The technique involves processing different organisms or microbes in a bioreactor no bigger than a regular coffee cup.
According to Dr. Juha-Pekka Pitkanen, a lead scientist at VTT, the technology could one day make food available in famine-stricken countries. The technique may also lead to the development of a home reactor, a type of domestic appliance that can be used to produce food.
Scientists in Finland are perfecting a food-making process which could one day enable people to electrically shock carbon dioxide and microbes into a square meal.
Teams at the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland discovered that by subjecting water, microbes like bacteria, and carbon dioxide to sustained electrical currents they can produce ‘food’ with nutritional value.
The technique involves bioreactors about the size of a coffee cup, and results in a mixture that is about 50 percent protein and 25 percent carbohydrates, as well as containing nucleic acids and fats.
While being touted as a solution to the world’s hunger problems, the production is in its nascent stages – it currently takes two weeks to create 1g of protein. Food security is a major issue around the world and the UN estimate that 2 billion people will lack basic nourishment by 2050.
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