One of the most popular stories about healthy food in the world in recent years is the spectacular growth of the Quorn brand, a product that can replace meat. Do you know what is Quorn? Can it really be an effective way to provide protein for the vegetarians? Let read the following article of Viknews.com to find out the true answer.
What is Quorn?
Quorn is a meat substitute product originating in the UK and sold primarily in Europe, but also available in 19 countries. Quorn is sold as both a cooking ingredient and as the meat substitute used in a range of prepackaged meals.
All Quorn foods contain mycoprotein as an ingredient, which is derived from the Fusarium venenatum fungus and is grown by fermentation. In most Quorn products, the fungus culture is dried and mixed with egg albumen, which acts as a binder, and then is adjusted in texture and pressed into various forms. A vegan formulation also exists that uses potato protein as a binder instead of egg albumen.
Quorn was launched in 1985 by Marlow Foods, a joint venture between Rank Hovis McDougall (RHM) and Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), and is now owned by Monde Nissin Corporation.
What is Quorn made of?
Quorn is made from the soil mould Fusarium venenatum strain PTA-2684 (previously misidentified as the parasitic mould Fusarium graminearum). The fungus is grown in continually oxygenated water in large, otherwise sterile fermentation tanks. Glucose and fixed nitrogen are added as a food for the fungus, as are vitamins and minerals to improve the food value of the product.
The resulting mycoprotein is then extracted and heat-treated to remove excess levels of RNA. Previous attempts to produce such fermented protein foodstuffs were thwarted by excessive levels of DNA or RNA; without the heat treatment, purines, found in nucleic acids, are metabolised by humans to produce uric acid, which can lead to gout. However two recent studies have found dietary factors once believed to be associated with gout are in fact not, including the intake of purine-rich vegetables and total protein. The Mayo Clinic, meanwhile, advises gout sufferers to avoid some foods that are high in purines.
The product is dried and mixed with egg albumen, which acts as a binder. It is then textured, giving it some of the grained character of meat, and pressed either into a mince resembling ground beef; forms resembling chicken breasts, meatballs, and turkey roasts; or chunks resembling diced chicken breast. In these forms, Quorn has a varying colour and a mild flavour resembling the imitated meat product, and is suitable for use as a replacement for meat in many dishes, such as stews and casseroles.
The final Quorn product is high in protein and dietary fibre and is low in saturated fat. It contains less dietary iron than most meats and the manufacturers have not released much information about additives they use to make Quorn resemble meat. Quorn is considered acceptable in small amounts for babies over 9 months old but should be introduced gradually. The high fibre and low calorie content is better for adults than babies and too much fibre can cause flatulence.
The salt content should be checked before giving Quorn to babies since the salt content varies between products. The carbon footprint of Quorn Frozen Mince in the UK is claimed to be at least 80% less than that of beef. Quorn for the UK and European market is produced at Marlow’s headquarters in Stokesley, North Yorkshire and at nearby Billingham in Stockton-on-Tees.
Can Quorn be an effective meat alternative?
The first proof that mycoprotein was capable to reduce total cholesterol and LDL in blood was in a tolerance study, where the only significant change in blood analysis was the decrease of cholesterol during the mycoprotein phase of the study (where the participants ingested mycoprotein). Two studies at King’s College (University of London), demonstrated that mycoprotein lowers total and LDL cholesterol in subjects with slightly raised levels under two different conditions: under clinical ingest control and in a free ingest condition.
In the first study, clinically prepared meals were provided to 17 subjects, which consumed 190 g/day of mycoprotein for 3 weeks. Total cholesterol and LDL in blood were significantly reduced, whereas HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) increased. In the second study, 21 subjects were provided with 27 g/day of mycoprotein in dry weight (approximately 130 g/day of regular moisture mycoprotein) in form of a biscuit for 8 weeks.
Blood samples were recollected at the beginning, at 4 weeks and at 8 weeks. Total cholesterol and LDL decreased during the study, but no statistically significant differences were observed in HDL cholesterol.
A pilot study, based on 21 subjects who didn’t consume mycoprotein, whom were asked to ingest it for 6 weeks.Ten of those subjects continued with their regular diets, being the control group. It was proven that cholesterol in individuals who present high contents is reduced, but the authors conclude stating that a more rigorous study with more participants is needed to know if mycoprotein ingest also intervenes in other aspects, such as of glucose in blood reduction or blood pressure.
Effects on satiety
A study demonstrated that when subjects received meals of similar nutritional values based either on chicken or mycoprotein, those who received mycoprotein felt less hungry in the evening, and when dinner time came, they ate less when compared to those who ate chicken. In another study with the same dynamic, these result were validated, and it was also demonstrated that the next ingest in the sequent day, it was also lower in quantity compared with the other group, proving that diets with a high content of mycoprotein can have a positive effect on appetite regulation.
If you find this article if helpful, please share it with your friends via facebook, twitter or reddit. Thank you and hope you have a nice day.