Is Mycoprotein Really A Meat Substitute?

Mycoprotein is a fungal organism (Fusarium venenatum) that is classified as a mould. Mycoprotein is marketed as a meat substitute, and one common brand name for it is Quorn. Mycoprotein is often marketed as a meat substitute as it is high in protein, but it is disingenuous to call it a meat substitute as the nutritional properties of meat and mycoprotein vary considerably. Mycoprotein does contain a reasonable nutritional profile, and the sodium to potassium ratio is low, it contains high amounts of zinc and selenium, and controlling the fungus as it grows and changing growth conditions can improve the nutritional profile to that which is required in some cases. However, mycoprotein does not contain some of the important nutrients in meat such as haem iron, carnitine or creatine, that would be considered beneficial to human health. Mycoprotein should not be dismissed as a nutrient source, but care needs to be taken when comparing it to meat, which is an important food in its own right. 

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Derbyshire, E. and Ayoob, K. T. 2019. Mycoprotein: nutritional and health properties. Nutrition Today. 54(1): 7-15

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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