(Last updated December 2011)
Mycoprotein is a source of dietary protein and fibre derived from a fungus. It is used in a limited range of meat-free foods marketed under the brand name Quorn™.
Although Quorn products have been available in Australia only since 2010, they have been eaten in the United Kingdom since 1986 and in the United States since 2001.
Some consumers have reported adverse reactions after eating mycoprotein-based products. Research in Europe suggests that while most consumers can eat these products safely, about 1 in 100,000 to 200,000 people may react to them. Because it's made from a fungus, it's possible that some people who react to other fungi or moulds (including when they breathe them in) may also react to mycoprotein.
While FSANZ is not aware of any medically confirmed reactions to Quorn products in Australia, consumers who may have had a reaction are advised to stop eating the food and see a medical practitioner.
Like many processed foods, various ingredients and additives may be used to make a variety of mycoprotein-based products. The ingredients may include known allergens such as milk and egg. Some consumers may have intolerance to the mycoprotein itself or other ingredients in these products. Either mycoprotein or Quorn™ will be listed in the ingredients list on food labels. Consumers can check the label and avoid products that may be of concern to them.