Have you ever eaten gelato made of air? Recently, Fico introduced an innovative gelato without milk or conventional plant-based alternatives. Just thin air, water and chocolate.
The Singapore-based restaurant uses a new protein powder technology called Solein from Finnish startup Solar Foods. Solein, a microbial protein from air and water, is produced in collaboration with the European Space Agency.
Scientists created Solene by cultivating bacteria in the lab. They then added hydrogen, carbon dioxide and nutrients, which resulted in the release of protein. Manufacturers then capture and dry these proteins, forming a powder in the process. The production technique has been compared to winemaking.
Most Sustainable Gelato
According to its creators, Solein is the most sustainable protein in the world. This is because no photosynthetic animals or plants are used in its manufacturing process. It is said to contain 65-70% protein and 10-15% dietary fibre. It also contains 5-8% fat and 3-5% minerals.
“This is an amazing opportunity to be the first chef team to introduce a one-of-a-kind ice cream to the world. It combines the delicious flavours we all love with unique ingredients produced without relying on traditional farming. Exploring the versatility of Solein has been an incredible journey; we have experimented with its potential, creating dishes ranging from miso soup, pastas, sauces and desserts. Replacing dairy with Solein in this chocolate gelato, we were able to create a vegan ice cream without sacrificing its creaminess,” shared Fico’s Chef-partner Mirko Febbrile, in a statement.
Currently, only Singapore has given approval for this ingredient. The country has given the green light to serve chocolate ice cream containing this new ingredient.
So, why is gelato the first food to be made with this new protein ingredient?
The reason is simple. Since its approval in Singapore last September, the company has paid special attention to the food preferences of Singaporeans, who are big fans of ice cream. And chocolate is the most preferred flavour by many.