Quorn is a meat substitute widely used in Europe that recently entered the American market. It is produced from fungi, which naturally causes a somewhat suspicious attitude towards it.
The mycoprotein protein derived from fungi was discovered in the 60s. Over the past 17 years, the British company Marlo Foods has sold around a billion Quorn packages in Europe. The company’s vice president, David Wilson, says British scientists discovered mycoproteins on the fields in Buckinghamshire, west of London: “Scientists have been working to improve mycoproteins over the next ten years, making them safer to use and more economical to produce.” Specialists of Marlo Foods produce Quorn as easy as if they produced yogurt, cheese or beer. “The product is grown in fermentation tanks,” says D. Wilson. – They add a bit of egg white, which binds protein fibers, as well as some seasonings from vegetables. The resulting product is cut into cubes or processed into minced meat. It tastes like chicken or beef. You can cook a lot of different dishes using this product. ”
Sanford Miller, Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, met with the product at the initial stage of its development. “Quorn is characterized by the fact that it (unlike products containing soybean) does not have a porous structure,” he says. – The first samples of Quorn left much to be desired. Vegetarians, mainly from India and Pakistan, began to consume it first in the UK. ”
Before selling Quorn in the United States, the manufacturing company Marlo Foods sent samples for approval to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA. The management found the product “generally safe.” Quorn also seemed very tasty to the public organization known as Center for the Development of Science for the Benefit of Societies. The director of the Center, Michael Jacobson, suggests not to consider Quorn as a product of “fungal origin”: “Experts say that mycoprotein has the same attitude to mushrooms as jellyfish does to humans.” Therefore, we ask the authorities to remove these products from the shelves until they are properly classified. ”
David Wilson, Marlo Foods Vice President, does not share this view: “Mikoprotein is part of the family that includes mushrooms. Calling mycoprotein a product of fungal origin, we tell people what they eat. Our goal is not to mislead the consumer, but, on the contrary, to educate and inform him,” – he says.
David Wilson agrees: a lot of explanatory work is needed to convince Americans to buy a product of “fungal origin” in Dale’s Healthy Food store since the word “fungus” is associated in the layman with blisters on his feet. Wilson tends to call Quorn a “mushroom-like” product. Some people react badly to fungi, and they should not eat mycoprotein.
Quorn enters the market as a natural meat-free and soy-free product and a tasty alternative to ordinary meat.