What is Mycoprotein?

The Oxford English dictionary defined the “Mycoprotein” as albuminoid which is the main component of protoplasm of the cell. From the Greek word “myco” which means fungus. Historically, this fungal protein is a form of single cell protein that was discovered during the early 1980’s.

It was purposely developed as a food source to remediate food shortages. The main component used to manufacture Mycoprotein derived from the fungus known as Fusarium venenatum.

A primary source of fungus that is the main ingredient of all Quorn products, the Fusarium venenatum is added with oxygen, nitrogen, glucose and minerals in a fermenter to form continuous supply of mycoprotein then being harvested and dried before egg albumin is added to help with the binding.

The container is being kept at a constant temperature and optimized for growth; fungus can multiply its mass every 5 hours.


Then, when a desired amount of Mycoprotein has been created, the growth medium is drained from the bottom of the fermenter and then separated and purified. The result of the Mycoprotein is a pale yellow with a bland taste of mushrooms.

Therefore, any flavors and tastes can be added to the mycroprotein. This Mycoprotein is totally made of high quality protein and good source of dietary fiber and completely meat free products.

How this product does begin?

In 1967, a UK company called Imperial Chemical Industries discovered the fungus (Fusarium venenatum) growing in the soil of Bucking Hampshire, back then researchers hypothesize that the growing fungus can out space the food shortage they are experiencing.

In a strange turn of events, it is now known today as Mycoprotein. The Mycoprotein was first sale in Europe and North America by the Quorn Company.

Quorn’s Mycoprotein picture


Studies support that taking Mycoprotein products is beneficial, find out some of them;

1.Reduce Cholesterol level

Mycoprotein is a meat free product unlike the meat proteins that usually can purchase in the meat section. A 100 gram serving of the Mycoprotein is approximately equivalent to 3.5 ounces containing 85 calories.

With this amount, merely 26 calories are subsidized by 2.9 grams of total fat and 0.7 gms of saturated fat. Hence, this Mycoprotein is free of cholesterol. Several studies suggest that it maintains normal blood cholesterol levels and some research claims that it can even lower LDL cholesterol level which helps the heart to remain healthy.

Furthermore, this is also being supported by Bobek et al in 1991 that certain fungi species lower serum cholesterol in animal. Based from the study of hypercholesterolaemic rats, the intake of mushroom lower their serum cholesterol concentrations.

2.Increasing Insulin Level

In 1995 a small study conducted by King’s College at the University of London published a scientific study that Mycoprotein can reduce blood sugar and helps to increase insulin levels to alleviate the type 2 diabetes.

3.High Source of Lean Protein

The more protein you accumulate from the animal-based foods especially the red or processed meats, the more you are prone to develop chronic medical condition such as heart disease and cancer.

However, Quorn has made its way to develop an excellent plant-based food which is rich in lean protein and contains all the amino acid needed to builds protein.

4.Greater Dietary Fiber

Food that has high content of fiber can prevent blood pressure, obesity, elevates cholesterol level, inhibit having heart disease, stroke, diabetes, ulcers and gastro esophageal reflux disease-Nutrition Reviews in 2009 reported.

5.Source of Good Sodium

Since, mostly of adults are prohibited by their medical practitioner to lessen their consumption of Sodium, as it give rise to develop the risk of having high blood pressure, heart diseases and stroke.

However, one serving of mycoprotein has an extremely low in sodium, with 5 mg of sodium in every 3.5 ounces of Quorn products.

6.Greater Satiating Power

Satiating power is the power to satisfy your appetite for longer on few calories. Therefore, Mycoprotein in Quorn products may improve levels of satiety, and can also regulate energy intake

Risk factors

Since, Mycoprotein in Qourn’s products is used as a meat substitute for some vegetarian. Most of the consumer of the product can tolerate the Mycoprotein but for others, there were cases reported that they experience some unwanted and harmful side effects such as the following;

1.Digestion Problem

Reports have been conveyed by the Center of Science in Public Interest that for people taking Mycoprotein products experienced vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

2.Allergic Reactions

CSPI maintains report that mycoprotein is causing allergic reaction. Some small number of consumer experience hives.

In fact, according to the article published by BBC News Online in 2003, a 41 year old man suffered from severe skin infection, followed by asthma attack after taking Quorn product. Then, it was found out that the old man was allergic to mycoprotein.

3.Anaphylactic Shock

This condition is a fatal systemic reaction in a susceptible individual upon exposure to a specific antigen (ex. Mycoprotein) after previous sensitization characterized especially by respiratory symptoms. Fainting, itching and hives.

4.Gluten or Lactose effect

Consumer who is suffering celiac disease may want to avoid the intake of the Quorn products.

According to Mycoprotein. Org, the quorn products has gluten and small level of lactose, since celiac patient is sensitive to gluten or lactose, patient may develop inflammation in the intestinal lining leading to damage the intestines.

Other side effects include bloating, diarrhea and stomach pain.


  9. Michelle Kern, 2005. “What Are the Benefits of Mycoprotein? “

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