Air Protein, a company using precision fermentation technology to make meat from elements in the air, has raised US$32 million from companies such as Barclays and GV (formerly Google Ventures).

The company uses a unique process to produce protein that was first pioneered by NASA in the 1960s. Elements found in the air (such as carbon dioxide), together with water and mineras, are fed to microbes in a fermentation tank. The microbes ingest the air elements and output a protein, which is then textured and used as an ingredient in various meat alternatives.

Co-founder and CEO of Air Protein Dr. Lisa Dyson said that the company plans to use part of the funds to launch a research and development lab that will help develop different types of alternative proteins, as well as to scale production. Air Protein will also use the new funds to recruit and build up its team of employees.

“With this funding, we will be able to accelerate our work towards providing innovative, environmentally friendly, highly nutritious alternatives that will play an important role in meeting the growing global demand for alternatives to animal protein,” said Dyson. “We are commercializing a novel technology platform that is capable of scaling to large-scale production to help feed the world’s 10 billion people by the year 2050, in the most sustainable approach available today. We need solutions and Air Protein is excited to be one of those solutions,” Dr. Dyson said.  She noted that with the global demand for meat set to increase, there were opportunities for many types of meat alternatives to play a role. 

READ MORE: Air Protein raises $32M to develop a meat alternative out of thin air [The Spoon]