The BBC Good Food logo
Vegetarian bolognese served on a plate

Is Quorn healthy?

loading...
Magazine subscription – your first 5 issues for only £5!

Is this popular plant-based alternative to meat, a healthy choice? We asked Registered Nutritionist, Nicola Shubrook to take a closer look.

Interested in trying our FREE 7-day healthy diet plan? Click here and choose between our meat eaters, vegetarian or vegan meal plans.

Advertisement

What is Quorn?

First introduced in 1983, Quorn is the trade-marked name given to a meat substitute called mycoprotein. This plant-based protein is derived from a natural micro-fungus called Fusarium Venenatum. The fungus is fermented, in a similar way to beer or yogurt, which promotes growth of the mycoprotein.

Quorn is available in a variety of products including mince, sausages and nuggets.

Discover our full range of health benefit guides and check out some of our delicious Quorn recipes, from vegetarian bolognese to our moroccan spiced mince couscous.

Nutritional profile of Quorn

A 75g portion of Quorn (as purchased) provides:
55Kcal / 230KJ
10.5g Protein
1.1g Fat
0.8g Carbohydrate
6.2g Fibre
178mg Phosphorus
90mg Potassium
5.25mg Zinc
16mcg Folate

Top 5 health benefits of Quorn

1. A complete protein

Mycoprotein, from which Quorn is made, is a complete protein supplying all nine essential amino acids required by adults.

2. May increase fullness

A study in 2016 reported that mycoprotein increased satiety, thereby reducing energy intake, and improving blood sugar regulation in those who were overweight. That said more research is needed to confirm these effects.

3. May balance cholesterol levels

A small but interesting 8-week trial carried out across two groups of people with high cholesterol reported positive findings. One group were fed cookies containing mycoprotein and the control group ate cookies without mycoprotein. By the end of the eight weeks those who had consumed the cookies containing mycoprotein had reduced total and low-density lipoprotein (often referred to as ‘bad’) cholesterol levels. However, there have been no further published studies on this topic, so it’s not possible to draw firm conclusions about the effect of consuming mycoprotein for this purpose.

4. Is a versatile meat substitute

Mycoprotein is a versatile replacement to meat and available in a variety of forms including mince, cutlets, nuggets and burger-style patties. These meat-free products are considered helpful in response to the growing global need for protein.

5. Good source of fibre

Depending on the Quorn product you select, the fibre content will range from around 5g-10g per 100g, making Quorn a useful source of fibre.

Is Quorn safe for everyone?

Although generally recognised as safe for most people, some consumers have reported adverse reactions to mycoprotein-containing foods. These reactions include gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, or allergic-type reactions including urticaria (hives) and anaphylaxis.

According to the Quorn website, true allergy reactions remain exceptionally low and mycoprotein is not classed as an allergen in the UK, but it is recognised as having the potential to cause an allergic reaction.

Those who already have a sensitivity to fungi, such as mushrooms, may find that they are sensitive to mycoprotein and should exercise caution with these foods. Speak to your GP if you are concerned about allergies.

Quorn products may also contain other allergens such as egg, milk and gluten, these will be marked on labels. Additional ingredients will collectively alter the nutritional value and allergen profile of the product, so always read the label to ensure the product is appropriate for your needs.

Visit the NHS website to read more about allergies.

More on nutrition for vegetarians

The best sources of protein for vegetarians
Healthy vegetarian recipe collection
How to eat a balanced vegetarian diet


This article was reviewed on 24 November 2021 by Kerry Torrens.

Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.

Advertisement

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content