Modern biotechnology techniques can be used to
culture and make large quantities of useful microorganisms to
It is an alternative to producing meat from animals
such as cows or chickens.
Mycoprotein is manufactured in huge vats (stainless steel tank fermenters) under very
controlled conditions e.g pH, temperature, type of microorganism and
Mycoprotein is the ingredient common to all
Quorn™ 'artificial meat-free' protein products.
It is a high protein meat substitute for
meals acceptable in the diet of vegetarians.
It is high in protein, high in fibre, low in
saturated fat and contains no cholesterol, and therefore quite a
nutritious component of any diet.
Mycoprotein is made in fermenters
(large vats) similar to
those found in a brewery - typical design of mycoprotein fermenter
is shown in right-hand labelled diagram.
It's made by continuously adding oxygen, nitrogen (from
ammonia/nitrate), carbohydrate (e.g. glucose syrup) and essential minerals to
a fungus called Fusarium venenatum, which is grown in
Nutrients, minerals, fungus and sterile air
are fed into the fermenter. The fungus needs oxygen for aerobic
respiration. The amino acids and protein are synthesised from
glucose syrup and ammonia.
The pH (~6) and temperature (~40oC)
are carefully monitored and controlled. A cooling water jacket is
needed to remove excess heat - thermostat control.
The stirring paddles ensure the suspended
fungus, glucose syrup, ammonia, minerals, oxygen and heat are all
continuously evenly distributed throughout the fermenter vat.
The fungus rapidly grows producing the protein which is
'harvested', purified and converted into a safe edible mycoprotein food product.
The Fusarium fungus can double in mass in as
little as 5 hours - compare this with how long it takes for grain or
cattle to grow.
It is estimated the carbon footprint of
mycoprotein is 4x less than that of producing chicken.
Mycoprotein is almost tasteless so a range of
textures and flavourings can be added to make it palatable for the
Mycoprotein seem to have several advantages and no
disadvantages except it is tasteless!?
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