FoodTech

Summary of Alternative Protein Development Companies and Patents -SOLAR FOODS

Nov 13, 2022

Summary of Alternative Protein Development Companies and Patents -SOLAR FOODS

I would like to take a quick look at an alternative protein development company in Finland, which was recently featured in a TV program, NHK BS special in Japan, and I was curious to see what kind of patents they have on their products.
In the NHK program, the image of protein produced from water and air was presented as if the protein was created from a forest in Finland, so I also chose a forest as my eye-catcher. Of course, it is not such a simple mechanism that proteins are produced from water and air.

SOLAR FOODS

The company’s mechanism seems to be to use so-called hydrogen bacteria to produce carbon compounds from hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide generated by the electrolysis of water, which are then used as alternative proteins. The alternative protein seems to be named Solein (from a quick look, it seems that the trademark registration is struggling in the U.S., but it is marked with an R, so it must have been registered in other countries).
Foovo’s explanation here was very clear.

Solar Foods, which uses microbes, air, and electricity to develop proteins, raises about $1.3 billion

Solein has recently been approved for sale in Singapore, and an NHK program showed that it did not taste very good, but when it was used as an ingredient in soups, it thickened the soup. The orange color seems to be derived from the ingredient carotene (a nutritional component of carrots, etc.).

Patent Status

I checked Lens. org. For the sake of completeness, I have searched for the applicant as “Solar Foods Oy”.

There are 11 patent-families.
Strains and processes for single-cell protein or biomass production, bioreactors, power converters for bioelectrochemical systems, egg replacer foods and methods for their production, methods for the production of meat-like foodstuffs, methods for the production of microbial products, variant bacterial strains and processes for protein or biomass production, and The company appear to have applied for inventions such as methods and systems for growing microbial masses.

The number of published applications has increased dramatically since 2019, indicating that the company has been actively trying to obtain patents in recent years. As for the countries where applications are filed, they range from their home country of Finland to Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Israel, the United States, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea.
There seemed to be no application for Japan. Is it because there are no competitors or no immediate plans for sales?

Personally, I am interested in this company and would like to keep an eye on it, including information on competitors.