What is it?
Quorn is a high quality protein substitute for meat. Quorn is made up of a mycoprotein that is fermented from fungus known as fusarium venenatum (Finnigan 2011). Oxygen, nitrogen, glucose, vitamins and minerals are added to the fungus in a fermenter to produce the protein source. Quorn has a meat like texture because the fungus strands are similar to animal muscle. The fungus is dried and formed into different products such as mince, fishless fingers, five grain fillets as well as many other products (See Table 1 below). All Quorn products are suitable for vegetarians, people who do not consume meat or fish. Egg albumin is used to bind ingredients in these products but there is also a range of vegan products available. Vegans do not consume meat, fish or animal by-products such as eggs, milk or cheese.
What nutritional benefits does it have? (Gilani and Lee 2003)
- High quality protein:
Quorn is considered to be a high quality source of protein. It contains all the essential amino acids required by adults. Essential amino acids are ones which cannot be produced within the body therefore they need to be obtained from the diet.
Quorn is a good source of dietary fibre. Fibre is important for a healthy digestive system. Fibre intake helps to maintain a healthy digestive system as it prevents constipation by keeping bowel movements soft and regular. Regular bowel movements help to prevent inflammatory diseases in the bowel and help decrease the risk of bowel cancer. Dietary fibre can also can help you to feel fuller for longer. It is recommended that we consume between 24-25 grams of fibre daily to maintain a healthy digestive system. A 100 gram serving of Quorn mince contains 5.5 grams of fibre and 1 Quorn fillet contains 2.9 grams of fibre (See Table 2 below). Adequate fibre intake can also help with weight control. Food containing fibre adds bulk to the diet, this helps you to feel full quicker and for longer. This prevents overeating and helps you to eat less.
- Low fat:
Quorn products are low in fat. They also contain no trans-fat. Trans-fat is a type of unsaturated fat which occurs in small amount naturally in foods but is frequently found in processed foods. The consumption of trans-fat should be avoided as it increases LDL-cholesterol levels. LDL-cholesterol is the type of cholesterol which builds up in the arteries and increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Studies (Turnbull et al. 1992, Turnbull et al. 1990) have shown the beneficial effect of Quorn digestion on blood lipids level. The incorporation of Quorn in the diet has been shown to help lower LDL-cholesterol, which is important for a healthy cardiovascular system.
What types are available?
There are lots of Quorn products available on the market. All products are vegetarian friendly, but they have also started to increase their vegan range.
Table 1- Quorn products available on the marke
Quorn is a great source of protein for both vegetarians and vegans. It is available in many different types of products and can be used to make lots of tasty dishes. It can add great variety to the diet. The texture of Quorn also replicates meat so it will add a different texture to dishes also.
Quorn products are lower in calories when compared to meat (See table 2 below). Quorn could be used in dishes for people who are trying to lose weight. Although lower in calories it is still a good source of protein. The consumption of Quorn also increases a person’s satiety after a meal. Satiety is the feeling of fullness or satisfaction felt after a meal is consumed. Satiety can have a huge impact on weight control (Morell and Fiszman 2017) . Studies have demonstrated that people who ate a meal containing Quorn ate less calories at their next meal sitting as they felt more satisfied from the previous meal although having consumed less calories than a meat dish (Williamson et al. 2006).
Quorn products are lower in fat when compared to meat (See Table 2 below). Quorn is a good substitute for meat for individuals who suffer from high cholesterol. Quorn products are low in fat and contain no trans-fats or cholesterol. Therefore, due to their composition they do not affect blood cholesterol levels. Research studies investigating the impact of Quorn products on blogod cholesterol levels have shown the consumption of Quorn only diets (no meat) (Turnbull et al. 1990) and the consumption of mixed diets (Quorn + meat)(Turnbull et al. 1992) helped to reduce blood cholesterol levels when compared to meat only diets. Quorn products could be incorporated into a diet for someone who has high cholesterol to help them to reduce blood cholesterol.
Table 2- The Nutritional value of Quorn Vs. Meat
Finnigan, T. J. A. (2011) ’13 – Mycoprotein: origins, production and properties’. Handbook of Food Proteins. Woodhead Publishing.
Gilani, G. S. and Lee, N. (2003) ‘PROTEIN | Sources of Food-grade Protein A2 – Caballero, Benjamin’. Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition). Oxford: Academic Press.
Morell, P. and Fiszman, S. (2017) ‘Revisiting the role of protein-induced satiation and satiety’, Food Hydrocolloids, 68 pp. 199-210.
Turnbull, W., Leeds, A. and Edwards, G. (1990) ‘Effect of mycoprotein on blood lipids’, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 52 (4), pp. 646-650.
Turnbull, W. H., Leeds, A. R. and Edwards, D. G. (1992) ‘Mycoprotein reduces blood lipids in free-living subjects’, Am J Clin Nutr, 55 (2), pp. 415-9.
Williamson, D. A., Geiselman, P. J., Lovejoy, J., Greenway, F., Volaufova, J., Martin, C. K., Arnett, C. and Ortego, L. (2006) ‘Effects of consuming mycoprotein, tofu or chicken upon subsequent eating behaviour, hunger and safety’, Appetite, 46 (1), pp. 41-48.
- 300g Quorn mince
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely, diced
- 1 stick of celery, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed.
- 150 grams of mushrooms
- 400ml tomato passata
- 1 vegetable stock cup dissolved in 150ml of boiling water.
- 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 350g of brown spaghetti
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic and mushrooms and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the passata, vegetable stock, tomato puree and oregano.
- Cook for 8- minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
- Stir in the Quorn mince and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes.
- Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet.
- Serve the Bolognese over the pasta.
Figure 1- Nutrition information for Spaghetti Bolognese generated by Nutritics
- 350g Quorn mince
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 100g of peas (frozen peas can also be used)
- 400ml vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon of tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 700g potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 200g parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180o
- Boil the potatoes and parsnip until they are tender. Drain the water from them and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and carrot and fry them gently until they are soft.
- Add the Quorn mince, peas, vegetable stock, tomato puree and seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Make the cornflour into a paste with a tablespoon of cold water and continue to simmer gently stirring continuously until it thickens.
- Place it into an oven proof dish.
- Mash the potatoes and parsnips together with the milk until they are smooth. Add pepper and salt to flavour.
- Place the potatoes and parsnips over the Quorn mince.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the top is crispy.
Figure 2- Nutrition information for Cottage pie generated by Nutritics
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 350g Quorn pieces
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 table spoon of tomato puree
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 300ml of vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- Brown rice (2 boil in the bags or 240g of brown rice)
- Heat the oil in a large pan.
- Cook the Quorn until its golden brown and set aside.
- Using the same pan heat another tablespoon oil. Cook the onions, garlic and cumin seeds until the onion is soft.
- Add the turmeric, cumin and chilli. Then mix. Add the puree and stir. Add the Quorn, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil and reduce to a low heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add garam masala.
- Serve the curry over a bed of brown rice cooked as per package.
Figure 3- Nutrition information for Curry generated by Nutritics