Mycoprotein Explained

The Early Years

Back in the early 1960s, experts were concerned that the predicted growth in the world’s population would lead to global food shortages and widespread famine... The British industrialist Lord Rank (aka movie mogul J Arthur Rank) was Chairman of the Rank Hooves McDougall group of companies (RHM). RHM was founded on the flour-milling business and was a major manufacturer of cereals, the main waste product of which is starch.

Lord Rank passionately believed that something needed to be done about the impending food crisis and briefed his research director, Dr. Arnold Spicer, to investigate the feasibility of a process to turn starch into protein using some form of fermentation.

The Discovery of 1967

The RHM team tested 3,000 organisms taken from soil samples around the world. Incredibly, the organism eventually identified as the most suitable candidate for further research came from afar afield as … a garden in Marlow in Buckinghamshire, barely four miles from the RHM Research Centre. The organism was given the code A3/5 until 1974 when the UK Food Standards Committee established the name mycoprotein. Some years later, the original organism was reclassified as Fusarium venenatum PTA 2684.

Fusarium Venenatum

Fusarium venenatum, the principal ingredient of Mycoprotein, is an Ascomycota, one of the largest groups within the fungi family. Mycoprotein is made by adding oxygen, nitrogen, glucose and minerals to Fusarium venenatum. For additional facts about Mycoprotein, please visit mycoprotein.org.

The Launch of Quorn Products

Today, Mycoprotein is the key ingredient of the Quorn product range. It is a healthy, meat-free source of protein and is also a good source of dietary fiber. Mycoprotein is low in fat and saturates and contains no cholesterol and no trans fats. Expert Quorn chefs have learned how to get the best out of Mycoprotein, resulting in a wide range of ready meals, grills, sausages, burgers and deli slices, as well as cooking ingredients like mince, strips and pieces.

Nutritional Composition

The following chart offers a look at the nutritional breakdown of Mycoprotein:

Nutrient Amount per 100g*
Energy (kcals) 85
Protein (g) 11
Carbohydrate (g) 3
of which Sugars (g) 0.5
Fat (g) 2.9
of which saturates (g) 0.7
w-3 Linolenic acid (g) 0.4
Fibre (g) 6**
b-glucan (g) 4
Calcium (mg) 42.5
Magnesium (mg) 45
Zinc (mg) 9
Iron (mg) 0.5
Potassium (mg) 100
Vitamin B1 Thiamin (mg) 0.01
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin - (mg) 0.23
Vitamin B3 Niacin (mg) 0.35
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic acid (mg) 0.25
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine - (mg) 0.125
Biotin (mg) 0.02
Phosphorous (mg) 260
Copper (mg) 0.5
Manganese (mg) 6
Selenium (ug) 20
Chromium (ug) 15
Molybdenum (ug) < 25
Sodium (mg) 5
Salt (g) 0.0125

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