Health topics

Healthy protein for people and planet.

At Quorn Foods, we have a 35-year history of innovative and collaborative research partnerships, which aim to understand the benefits of diets rich in mycoprotein on metabolic markers of health, as well as its environmental credentials. Current and future projects paired with world-class research institutes are looking into the effects of mycoprotein as a whole food, on different aspects of health and wellbeing, including cardiometabolic health, weight loss and muscle maintenance.

The need for moderation of meat consumption and other animal products in the developed world – and increasingly the developing world – is now well documented1 and compelling. From both the perspective of improving population health,2 and in order to slow and reverse severe environmental degradation3, it is clear that our diets have a critical role to play. However, dietary change is notoriously hard to achieve. Successfully replacing animal produce in modern diets requires that alternatives are not only attractive for their taste and convenience, but that they also are able to address these key global issues.

It is our philosophy that the health of our bodies and the health of our planet can no longer be separated; both depend on creating a regenerative and healthy food production system which supports health and nourishes people. In particular the way in which we produce protein to feed a growing, ageing global population is at the centre of that challenge.4 The case is clear: in order to feed the future population, we will require healthy and delicious new proteins with a low environmental impact.

We have summarised our extensive sustainable nutrition research agenda under the following topics to best inform those with an interest in the science behind mycoprotein, and to support those wanting to incorporate Quorn® products into their diets, or the diets of their clients.

The foods that we eat significantly affect our metabolic pathways. ‘Metabolism’ refers to all the processes which occur inside an organism and its cells which are necessary to maintain life, such as the conversion of food to energy and the building blocks of key proteins, lipids and acids for the body to use.

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The composition of the foods we eat, the rate at which we eat them, and even where we eat them all affect how much we consume, and therefore how hungry we feel. Energy balance, and subsequently, body weight, is managed through both diet and physical activity.

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Physiological regulation of skeletal muscle mass is determined and maintained, in large measure, by dietary protein intake. Proteins are made up of amino acids, organic compounds that are often referred to as the ‘building blocks’ of life.

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We are currently facing potential insecurity of global resources to feed a projected world population of nearly 10 billion by the year 2050. As the population grows and culture changes, the demand for alternative, complete protein options, continues to increase.

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Research and evidence

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  1. Godfray, HCJ, et al. Science. 2018;361(6399).
  2. Yip, CSC, et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018;72:18–29.
  3. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2018. Global warming of 1.5° c: an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5° c above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. intergovernmental panel on climate change. Available at: Accessed December 2019.
  4. Gardner CD, et al. Nutr Rev. 2019;77:197–215.

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