At DelightedCooking, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is Mycoprotein?

KD Morgan
KD Morgan

Mycoprotein is a meat substitute made from the fusarium venenatum fungi. While this organism does grow naturally, for food purposes it is processed in a controlled environment using oxygen, nitrogen, glucose, vitamins and minerals.

Once the mycoprotein is harvested, filtered and drained; it is bound with free-range eggs, textured and seasoned into a palatable vegetarian protein. Next it is processed and packaged into a variety of chicken, turkey and ground meat substitutes. Mycoprotein is an excellent source of biotin, fiber, iron, protein and zinc. It is naturally low in fat and calories, while reporting zero cholesterol. This high quality protein also contains 9 essential amino acids.

This mycoprotein ingredient is unique to other meat substitutes and marketed worldwide under the trade name of Quorn™. While making its debut in Britain in 1985, Quorn™ has been sold in the United States and other major countries since 2002.

Mycoprotein comes from the same family as mushrooms.
Mycoprotein comes from the same family as mushrooms.

There have been some heated disputes questioning the safety of using mycoprotein for human consumption. While some gastrointestinal and allergic discomforts have been reported, most agree there have rarely been adverse reactions. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has been working to convince the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to order all mycoprotein products off the market. At the very least, they recommend the relabeling of all the Quorn™ products as molds rather than their current status as fungi. There is some question as to the validity of the CSPI’s concerns because there are reported connections between the CSPI and some competitive meat substitute producer.

Truffles are in the same family as mycoprotein.
Truffles are in the same family as mycoprotein.

Those who consider mycoprotein a healthy, meat alternative view it as coming from the same family as mushrooms, truffles and morels. Like yeast, fusarium venenatum has been around for thousands of years and is considered natural and harmless. Advocates consider mycoprotein a safe food of the future. They subscribe that the only reactions reported were from a few who have sensitivities to all fungi.

Mycoprotein is a good source of protein for vegetarians.
Mycoprotein is a good source of protein for vegetarians.

All of the Quorn™ products have contributed greatly to the variety of meat substitute options available to vegetarians and those who have health and religious sensitivities. For those who cannot eat soy products, this has especially been a welcome addition. Some Quorn™ products do contain wheat, however, and may not be appropriate for people who have wheat or gluten allergies. With the growing preferences for vegetarian and food sensitive diets, the consensus has been that mycoprotein foods greatly enhance the vegetarian options. This protein source has been approved by the Vegetarian Society.

Discussion Comments


The CSPI article was the first post I read when doing a search on mycoprotien and honestly, my first thought was that they appeared to have a vested interest in a competing product. Interesting to see that possibility mentioned in this article.

Question for CSPI: Should ALL products that cause allergic symptoms from itching/hives, up to death be pulled off the market? I myself have had severe reactions to sunflower seeds and a recent reaction to Almond milk (that i didn't have before). Guess we better look at banning those two items. Then there was the unfortunate and sad death of a toddler with a severe milk allergy, who was fed grilled cheese at daycare... I'm sure there have been many,many more reactions to milk, nuts, gluten and pollen than Quorn products. Where are the lawsuits and ban requests for those killer products?

For my own experience, I do have to say that when I found out that mycoprotein is really a mold, it concerned me as I've had previous allergies to mold. With that being said, I have had no complaints or reactions with any of the Quorn items so far and will continue to use them. Though I will be a bit more diligent in watching for any issues.


Soy gives me acne, so I prefer love mycoprotein. I've been fine after eating all the quorn products I've tried so far, with the exception of the chicken pieces. Every time I've had the chicken pieces, I've felt sick after, although the chicken burgers never make me feel sick. Maybe the processing is different for each product. Other than quorn, I mostly eat very light foods like salads and fruits so mycoprotein leaves a "heavy" feeling in my stomach, but in the same way as real meat leaves a heavy feeling. That's my experience with mycoprotein.


Hours of intense vomiting and diarrhea followed by reduced consciousness, inability to talk or walk, treatment for shock and if fluid replacement in an ER seem pretty adverse to me. That was my husband after his first meal of quorn two years ago. The ER doc thought it was norovirus. He had it again last night, first time since, and again got very ill. He is in bed today. I think there should be a warning.


I'm sensitive to soy isolates and as a vegetarian mycoprotein was a great gift. I was disappointed with the stance of the CSPI and hope all the fuss blows over. I would like to know how energy intensive is the cultivation of mycoproteins?

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Mycoprotein comes from the same family as mushrooms.
      By: Evgenia Silaeva
      Mycoprotein comes from the same family as mushrooms.
    • Truffles are in the same family as mycoprotein.
      By: Picture Partners
      Truffles are in the same family as mycoprotein.
    • Mycoprotein is a good source of protein for vegetarians.
      By: Dani Vincek
      Mycoprotein is a good source of protein for vegetarians.