I am privileged to have been part of the development of Quorn mycoprotein, perhaps the first truly new food of the 20th Century. It has more than satisfied the original aims of being “safe, nutritious and delicious to eat” and is now familiar as the basis of the widely consumed range of Quorn products, available today in many countries across the world. The combination of high quality protein, high dietary fibre and low saturated fat content, make Quorn mycoprotein, and therefore Quorn products, ideally suited to the nutrition and health needs of present day consumers everywhere. Early research into potential health effects gave strong indications of benefits and it is my hope that these will be fully realised as a result of the research programmes now in place.
Gareth has contributed to the Quorn project for over 50 years. In 1969, he joined the nutrition team at The Lord Rank Research Centre, High Wycombe, the science and technical centre of Ranks Hovis McDougall (RHM). He soon became involved in the nutritional and safety assessment of Quorn mycoprotein, the new protein source championed by Lord Rank and being developed under the direction of RHM’s Research Director, Professor Arnold Spicer. He became Head of Nutrition in 1974 with the main task of managing the nutrition and safety assessment of Quorn mycoprotein. This culminated in obtaining clearance in 1983 from the then Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) to sell Quorn mycoprotein as food in the UK.
During and beyond the subsequent partnership between RHM and ICI, to commercialise Quorn mycoprotein, Gareth was actively involved in the programme to obtain regulatory approvals in other countries, notably in Europe and subsequently in the USA and elsewhere. Since 2003, he has been working as an independent consultant, providing regulatory advice and assistance to Quorn Foods and other organisations. He was also a member of food industry committees in the UK and EU in areas such as novel foods, food additives, nutrition and food labelling. Between 2003 and 2017 he was an advisor to the ILSI Europe Novel Foods Task Force and chaired an expert group on safety assessment of novel foods.