Quorn looks to new extrusion technology solution to crack whole meat cut conundrum


Paris-based Umiami claims its technology can create thicker cuts of substitute meat, thus solving the texture challenge that currently vexes the faux meat market.  

Quorn currently makes mycoprotein – the dough-like material which makes up most of its products – by fermenting a naturally occurring fungus (called Fusarium venenatum​). This is fed with oxygen, nitrogen, glucose, and minerals in 40-metre high fermenters which run continuously for five weeks at a time.

Improving taste and texture challenges to win over new shoppers

But the company wants to look to other proteins and technologies to make new products of appeal to the rising numbers of flexitarian consumers who say they want to cut their meat consumption for environmental, health and ethical reasons. These newer consumers, says Quorn, don’t compromise on flavour, texture and appearance of these products. The challenge to producers therefore is to make plant-based products with improved organoleptic​ and nutritional​​ qualities in order to win over these newer cohorts of meat alternatives eaters.

Via the latest Future Food-Tech innovation challenge​​ which aims to unlock new talent in the industry and create opportunities for collaboration, Quorn tasked start-ups to make products that can mimic whole meat cuts. “We’re focused on chicken,”​ said Simone Sheehan, Head of Consumer and Sensory Science at Quorn. “We all know the flexibility it offers from having it in a sandwich to the ultimate roast meal where family and friends can come together. What we want to be able to give consumers is an amazing food experience that isn’t a compromise. We want to be able to offer a plant-based experience that replicates what consumers can get from chicken today so they can make that transition to plant-based easy. We want to work with innovators to be able to create replicas of whole muscle experience: the texture, the flavour, the aromas through into the meat-free sector.”



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