Carbon dating equipment
Only the required amount of fertiliser-like nutrients is used in the closed process.'This allows us to avoid any environmental impacts, such as runoffs into water systems or the formation of powerful greenhouse gases.' The process of creating food from electricity can be nearly 10 times as energy-efficient as common photosynthesis, the process plants use to create their 'food'.
For the product to be competitive, the production process must become even more efficient.
The food was created in a laboratory using a series of coffee cup-sized 'protein reactors'.
Researchers added water, carbon dioxide, and microbes into a small bioreactor.
Condiments, such as ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, are provided.
Salt and pepper are available but only in a liquid form.
They then exposed these elements to electrolysis, the process by which complex substances are broken down using electricity.
This process allowed researchers to gather a small amount of solid material which had a nutrition profile matching that of basic food.
It allows food to be produced where it is needed.'Compared to traditional agriculture, the production method currently under development does not require a location with the conditions for agriculture, such as the right temperature, humidity or a certain soil type,' said co-researcher Professor Jero Ahola from the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT).'This allows us to use a completely automatised process to produce the animal feed required in a shipping container facility built on the farm.'The method requires no pest-control substances.
Sometimes, the knife doesn't even cut - it crushes the food instead.