Mycoprotein is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: "the albuminoid which is the principal constituent of the protoplasm of the cell." "Myco" is from the Greek word for "fungus".

Mycoprotein means protein from fungi. It can be used as part of any meal, particularly vegetarian. The main mycoprotein on sale in Europe and North America is called Quorn. It was originally developed as a food source to combat food shortages.

A fungus called Fusarium venenatum is the main source of mycoprotein. The fungus is grown in vats using glucose syrup as food. This Fusarium sp. respires aerobically, so for it to grow at an optimum rate, it is supplied with oxygen. To make protein, nitrogen (in the form of ammonia) is added, and vitamins and minerals are needed to support growth. The vat is kept at a constant temperature, also optimized for growth; The fungus can double its mass every five hours.

The fermentation vat is filled with the growth medium, and then inoculated with the spores. When the desired amount of mycoprotein has been created, the growth medium is drawn off from a tap at the bottom of the fermenter. The mycoprotein is separated and purified. It is a pale yellow solid with a faint taste of mushrooms. Different flavours and tastes can be added to the mycoprotein to add variety.

The protein is a form of single cell protein (SCP) and was first produced in the early 1980s.

Several percent of consumers are sensitive to mycoproteins, resulting in vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, hives and potentially fatal anaphylactic reactions.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Hoff, M; Trüeb, RM; Ballmer-Weber, BK; Vieths, S; Wuethrich, B (2003). "Immediate-type hypersensitivity reaction to ingestion of mycoprotein (Quorn) in a patient allergic to molds caused by acidic ribosomal protein P2". The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 111 (5): 1106–10. PMID 12743577. 
  2. ^ Katona, SJ; Kaminski, ER (2002). "Sensitivity to Quorn mycoprotein (Fusarium venenatum) in a mould allergic patient". Journal of clinical pathology 55 (11): 876–7. PMC 1769805. PMID 12401831. 
  3. ^ Chemical Cuisine: Learn about Food Additives, Center for Science in the Public Interest


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mycoprotein — My co*pro te*in, n. [Gr. (spurious) my^kos mucus (L. mucus) + E. protein.] (Biol.) The protoplasmic matter of which bacteria are composed. [archaic] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mycoprotein — ► NOUN ▪ protein derived from fungi, especially as produced for human consumption …   English terms dictionary

  • mycoprotein — noun A food product derived from fungus, the basis of Quorn …   Wiktionary

  • mycoprotein — n. protein product produced by fungus for human consumption …   English contemporary dictionary

  • mycoprotein — noun protein derived from fungi, especially as produced for human consumption …   English new terms dictionary

  • mycoprotein — Fungal protein …   Glossary of Biotechnology

  • Quorn — is the leading brand of mycoprotein food product in the UK [ Management Today magazine, [ newsUID=d02f4c83 56ef 4353 8fe1 5762642e9d4b article dated 1 March 2004] : Quorn is the… …   Wikipedia

  • Fusarium venenatum — Taxobox | name = Fusarium venenatum regnum = Fungi phylum = Ascomycota classis = Sordariomycetes ordo = Hypocreales genus = Fusarium species = F. venenatum binomial = Fusarium venenatum Fusarium venenatum is a fungus, more precisely a mould, from …   Wikipedia

  • Vegetarian cuisine — refers to food that meets vegetarian standards by excluding meat and animal tissue products. For lacto ovo vegetarianism (the most common type of vegetarianism in the Western world), eggs and dairy products such as milk and cheese are permitted.… …   Wikipedia

  • Mycelium — Fungal mycelia Microscopic view …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.