Mycoprotein is a unique and nutritious protein that uses less land, water, and green-house gas emissions than animal proteins, so it’s good for the health of our planet.

As the population grows and culture changes, the demand for alternative, complete protein options continues to increase.

Mycoprotein was developed during the time of the Green Revolution, a 30-year period in the mid-1900s, when there were genuine concerns about feeding the world, which led to growth of agricultural research and technology to help increase harvesting yields and production. At present, we are again facing potential insecurity of global resources to feed a projected world population of nearly 10 billion by the year 2050, and an expected 80 percent greater demand for animal-based food by the same year. Mycoprotein is made using a protein source from the earth, and is produced with minimal demand for land or environmental burden. This is as revolutionary now, as it was then.

Environmental Benefit

Mycoprotein has distinct environmental benefits. Producing protein through fermentation is more efficient and far more sustainable than animal protein.

  • Mycoprotein has a significantly smaller carbon footprint and requires less land and water resources than livestock.
  • In comparison with beef:
    • The product carbon footprint of mycoprotein can be considered to be at least 10 times lower than that of beef.
    • The water footprint of mycoprotein is 20 times lower than that of beef (global average).
  • In comparison with chicken:
    • The product carbon footprint of mycoprotein can be considered to be at least 4 times lower than that of chicken.
    • The water footprint of mycoprotein is 6 times lower than that of chicken.
  • The Carbon Trust has certified the carbon footprint of mycoprotein since 2012.

Quorn Sustainable Development Report 2017. Available at https://www.quorn.us/files/content/Sustainability_2017_Report.pdf.


Research

FAO. 2017 Strategic work of FAO for SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE. Accessible at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i6488e.pdf.

Ranganathan J, et al. Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future. Working Paper, Installment 11 of Creating a Sustainable Food Future. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Accessible at http://www.worldresourcesreport.org.

Khoury CK, et al. Increasing homogeneity in global food supplies and the implications for food security. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Mar 18; 111(11): 4001–4006.

Tilman D, Clark M. Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature 2014; Nov 27 (515):518-522. doi:10.1038/nature13959.

Blonk H, et al. (2008) Milieueffecten van Nederlandse consumptie van eiwitrije producten. Gevolgen van veranging van dierlijke eiwitten anno 2008. Blonk Milieu Advies Gouda.

Finnigan TJA. (2012) Mycoprotein; origin, production and properties. In: Handbook of Food Proteins Ed Phillips, GO and Williams, PA. Woodhead Publishing, 333 – 352.

Finnigan TJA. (2010) Mycoprotein LCA and the Food 2030 challenge. Aspects Appl Biol. 102 81 – 90.

Finnigan TJA. et al. (2010) A scoping study towards an LCA for Quorn mince Proc VII Intl conference on LCA in the agri food sector Bari Sept 2010.

Finnigan TJA, Lemon M, Allen B, Paton I. (2010) Mycoprotein LCA and Food 2030. Aspects of Applied Biology 102, 81 – 90.

Tuomisto H. (2010) Food security and protein supply. Cultured meat a solution? Aspects Appl Biol, 102 99 – 104.

Quorn Frozen Mince certification by the Carbon Trust: http://www.ktponline.org.uk/ktp-provides-carbon-footprint-certification-for-quorn-tm/.

Neville, N. Finnigan TJA, Akintoye OA and Martindale W. (2012) Life cycle assessment in the meat alternative foods sector. Carbon footprinting and consumer communications. Proc 8th Int Conf Life Cycel Assessment in the Food Agri Sector. Oct 1 – 4 St Malo.

Finnigan, TJA, Needham, L and Abbott, CM (2016) Mycoprotein a healthy new protein with a low environmental impact. IN: Sustainable Proteins ed Sudarshan Nadathur, Janitha P. D. Dr. Wanasundara, Laurie Scanlin. Academic Press, 301 – 326.

Derbyshire, EJ (2017) Flexitarian Diets and Health: A Review of the Evidence-Based Literature. Frontiers in Nutrition 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2016.00055.

View all research