The making of Quorn (Tomorrow’s Food)

Broadcaster: BBC 1

Year: 2016

Genre: Documentary

URLs:
Part 1 – https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/clip/86966 (3.32 mins)
Part 2 – https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/clip/86968 (3:10 mins)

Original programme URL:  https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/clip/95311 (60 mins)

Review by June Adams

Around one third of UK households already buy meat alternatives, and the market is still rising as meat becomes more expensive. Being a versatile, nutritional, and super efficient meat alternative, could Quorn be the food of the future?

In two short sections from the third episode of his series Tomorrow’s Food, comedian turned science presenter Dara Ó Briain walks us through the process.

Production of Quorn starts with a single speck of freeze-dried fungus (Fusarium venenatum), reawakened and grown in a sugar-nutrient solution. In less than a week, it will grow to fill two ten-storey towers with 45 thousand tonnes of mycoprotein. Producing Quorn is ten times more efficient than rearing animals for meat, and contains less than half the calories and fat of beef mince and 78 times less cholesterol.

Turning the raw protein into edible products means further processing to give it the flavour and texture of meat. Freezing changes texture from a dough-like consistency to fibrous, as the ice crystals create fibrous bundles. Ingredients mixed in with Quorn before it is frozen creates the different flavours, and recipes can be tailored to suit the tastes of different countries, making Quorn incredibly versatile.

This clip might be of interest to microbiology or food technology students.

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