ADM and Air Protein Will Co-Produce Sustainable Protein Made From CO2
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American multinational food processing and commodities company Archer-Daniels-Midland has entered into a pivotal partnership with Air Protein, the innovator in air-based nutritional protein production that negates the need for agriculture or farmland and creates a revenue stream for captured C02.
Under the newly announced Strategic Development Agreement (SDA) Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) and Air Protein aim to further research and development in order to bolster the production of novel, sustainable proteins made from captured carbon.
California-based Air Protein leads the way in producing “rainforest-friendly” air-based protein, eliminating the need for agriculture or farmland, reducing the risk of deforestation, and reducing resource consumption while also transforming carbon dioxide — a leading greenhouse gas.
The company takes carbon dioxide out of the air and through a fermentation process at its state-of-the-art San Leandro facility turns it into a protein-rich food source. Using air, water, and energy inputs, Air Protein says it can remove the need for supply chain risks associated with conventional farming.
The tech has also been employed to create sustainable aviation fuel and fibers used in clothing.
“Food security and sustainability are two of the enduring trends driving the growth and evolution of protein demand, and ADM is at the forefront of expanding the entire protein ecosystem,” Ian Pinner, ADM’s senior vice president, Strategy and Innovation, said in a statement. “We are proud to be a strategic investor in Air Protein, and with today’s agreement, we’re expanding our partnership to bring ADM’s industry-leading expertise in flavors and complete nutrition solutions to help expand the universe of applications in which Air Protein’s technology can be used.”
Air Protein Founder and CEO, Dr. Lisa Dyson, expressed her enthusiasm about extending the alliance with ADM. “Their continued commitment to building a more sustainable food system has helped us significantly accelerate and scale our Bay Area Air Farm and other growth initiatives.” She also revealed that Air Protein has triumphantly completed a vital regulatory review affirming their protein is GRAS, a “represents one more important milestone on our journey to provide consumers with the protein of the future.”
Expanding the sustainable protein category
The SDA is set to blend ADM’s nutritional expertise and its formulation research with Air Protein’s landless agriculture platform to pinpoint ways to mass-produce cost-efficient ingredients. These ingredients are aimed at ensuring that meat alternatives fulfill their objectives concerning cost, nutrition, flavor, and texture. The agreement also secures the exclusive rights for both ADM and Air Protein to collaborate on constructing and running the first-ever commercial-scale Air Protein facility.
ADM has been an ardent advocate for Air Protein since its launch in 2019, bolstering the company with investment through Series A and SAFE funding. The cumulative capital raised by Air Protein, with help from other supporters including the Ford Foundation, Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital, Plum Alley, and GV (formerly Google Ventures), amounts to $107 million. This financial backing has propelled the expansion of a high-caliber team of scientists, manufacturing, and food experts, alongside the development of its cutting-edge San Leandro Air Farm facility.
“To sustainably feed a growing global population, we need a broad protein ecosystem, from animal to plant to other novel sources,” Pinner said.