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UK study shows meat substitute prevents obesity, type 2 diabetes

/ 12:14 AM June 04, 2016

There could be another reason for choosing UK-made meat substitute brand Quorn, apart from helping meat eaters transition from being overdependent on animal-based food products that have proven to be putting an undue strain on the environment.

The mycoprotein ingredient that makes up Quorn may prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The prestigious British Journal of Nutrition published findings in April that show Quorn mycoprotein to reduce energy intake and to improve overall pancreatic function in healthy overweight and obese individuals.


The study suggests that Quorn mycoprotein may be well placed to play a role in the fight against obesity and type 2 diabetes, both public health issues of increasing global concern in developed and developing countries.


Scientists from the Nutrition and Dietetic Research Group; Department of Medicine; Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism; Division of Computational and Systems Medicine; and Department of Surgery and Cancer in Imperial College of London, submitted these findings on March 3, 2016, and was accepted on April 11, 2016.

Quorn products, according to the findings, are vegetarian meat replacements commonly used in the United Kingdom. The main ingredient of Quorn is mycoprotein, which is the RNA-reduced biomass produced from the continuous fermentation of the filamentous fungus Fusarium venenatum. Mycoprotein, as used typically, contains 25 grams of solids, including 11 g of protein and 6 g of fiber/100g. The fiber content is attributed to the cell wall and is composed of two-third branched 1-3 and 1-6 beta-glucan and one-third chitin, creating a fibrous chitin-glucan matrix with low water solubility (88-percent insoluble). This fibrous glucan-chitin complex is specific to fungal mycelium and not frequently present in human food.

Owing to its relatively high protein and fiber content, mycoprotein presents an attractive food product to improve appetite regulation and postprandial glycemic and insulin responses in overweight and obese individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Previous studies in lean individuals have found that mycoprotein reduces postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations, and energy intake at a subsequent meal.

Nonmeat protein

Mycoprotein, as explained in an Inquirer interview with Quorn executives this February, is the name given to food produced from the fermentation of the fusarium. Mycoprotein is a nutritionally packed nonmeat protein sourced from a member of the fungi family. Unlike many plant proteins, mycoprotein contains all essential amino acids, and has a PDCAAS (protein digestibility corrected amino acid score) of 0.996 which is close to perfect, and in fact better than beef protein.

Dr. Jeanne Bottin, the lead researcher who carried out the study, said: “Quorn mycoprotein has a unique combination of protein and fiber that is thought to be the reason for its beneficial effects on health. Although the precise causal mechanism remains the topic of further research, our results show that Quorn mycoprotein may be a great nutritional asset as part of a healthy lifestyle.”


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TAGS: Health, meat, obesity, Quorn, Science, study, substitute, Type 2 diabetes, UK
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