Meat Substitute ‘Air Chicken’ Made Through Fermentation Process Expected to Hit Shelves Soon

A new meat substitute created through fermentation is expected to hit the shelves next year, according to CBS News.

Air Protein, developed by physicist Lisa Dyson, uses a process similar to making yogurt to create the meat-like substitute. Instead of using microbes that eat milk and sugar, they eat oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

“You start out with cultures,” Dyson, the founder and CEO of Air Protein, told CBS News.

“Then you feed it elements of the air and it grows and grows and grows just like that yogurt culture. You dry that and you get to a protein-rich flour.”

According to the outlet, Air Protein’s concept was inspired by NASA. The organization explored in the 1960s and 70s ways to reutilize the carbon dioxide astronauts exhaled by turning it into food, and Dyson is building off of that technology in an effort to fight climate change.

“The food industry today produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. What’s going to happen when we have 10 billion people?” she told CBS News.

According to the outlet, the industry of meat substitution has become more competitive as companies try to improve on taste. Air Chicken, one of Air Protein’s products, has its release pending approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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