Quorn is a brand of plant-based meat products. Quorn mince has a much lower fat content than beef mince. Besides the nutritional profile, with the rise of people beginning to eat less meat, you may be wondering what it tastes like, exactly.
You may be surprised to find out that the entire purpose of Quorn is to replicate the smell, taste, and texture of the meats you already know and love. So, Quorn mince tastes pretty similar to “regular” mince.
What Is Quorn?
The main ingredient in Quorn products is mycoprotein. This mycoprotein is very low in saturated fats, and high in fiber. It is made from a natural type of fungus that is high in nutritious value and grows in soil. The fungus that is used to make Quorn is called Fusarium venenatum. To grow the mycoprotein, the process of fermentation is used.
Fermentation is used to make many common types of food, including cheese, bread, yogurt, and beer. Producing Quorn uses 95% less carbon dioxide than ground beef does, making it much more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Quorn mycoprotein has a much lower carbon footprint than that of traditional meats. It is forty times lower than the carbon footprint of beef, and six times lower than the carbon footprint of chicken. Its water footprint is also 30 times lower than beef and six times lower than chicken.
Thanks to the sustainable process that goes into creating Quorn, it has become the first meatless meat company that has a third-party carbon footprint accreditation. Carbon Trust has certified Quorn since 2012.
How It’s Made
As discussed, quorn mince is made from mycoprotein. Mycoprotein is a single cell protein that has been derived from fungus. Once harvested, the fungus will be grown in fermentation tanks. The process is very similar to other foods that are fermented.
For non vegan quorn mince (vegetarian), the culture from the fungus is dried and mixed with a binder. In this case, the binder is egg albumen, or rehydrated egg white.. The egg is the reason some quorn products are just vegetarian and not vegan.
Vegans don’t consume any animal products, and vegetarians just don’t consume any meat. When vegan quorn mince is made, the process is exactly the same, but with a different binding ingredient. For vegan quorn mince, the binding ingredient is potato protein, making it safe for those who don’t or cannot consume dairy products.
On its own, Quorn mince has a squishy texture, like beef mince. It is relatively tasteless when plain, which is good news for cooking. The taste is comparable to that of tofu. It won’t overpower or ruin your recipe. Quorn mince can be used the same exact way in recipes that you would use beef mince.
Quorn minced meat has very few ingredients. Around 88% of the product is mycoprotein. The rest is caramelized sugar, roasted barley, pea fiber, (sometimes) egg white, and calcium chloride and calcium acetate as firming agents.
Mycoprotein may be healthier than meat, especially red meat. It isn’t unknown that red meat can be bad for your cholesterol and blood pressure. The nutrients and fiber in mycoprotein can help control cholesterol and blood sugar.
It can help manage health conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity. In addition to this, due to the use of mycoprotein, Quorn can help you feel full for longer, making it a good aid for weight loss or diets.
Quorn is known for being popular amongst vegetarians, but they also make gluten free and vegan versions of the products that are not already fit for people with those dietary restrictions.
The mycoprotein in Quorn mince has many benefits. It can help to control diabetes by reducing the sugar levels in your body. 100 grams of Quorn mince only contains 2 grams of fat, making it a good option for aiding with weight loss. The same amount of beef mince contains just over sixteen grams of fat.
Because Quorn mince contains relatively low amounts of saturated fats, it can also help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. The mycoprotein in Quorn mince is very high in fiber so this product can help with digestion as well.
Most people (vegan or not) do not eat meat by itself. Quorn mince absorbs the taste of whatever it is being eaten with. Meat that has been derived from animals is the same way, it’s meant to be consumed amongst other ingredients. The difference may be hard to notice if you enjoy your beef with a plethora of toppings.
So, specifically, quorn mince is rather bland and plain. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you don’t want a recipe to be messed up when using a meat substitute. It has a subtle sweetness because of the barley extract and sugar. This is balanced out by the slightly sour taste of mycoprotein.
Because Quorn mince does an excellent job at absorbing other flavors, it can be a great addition to recipes that call for meat. It soaks up sauces wonderfully. While it may not have a very distinguishable taste, it will accentuate the other flavors in your dish.
Many people are turned off by the idea of using a protein that isn’t the meat they’re familiar with. This is likely because they don’t want to sacrifice the flavor that they’re used to, but with Quorn, you don’t have to sacrifice taste for sustainability.
Uses for Quorn Mince
By now you know that quorn mince is a plant-based protein meant to replicate beef mince. This means that it can replace beef mince in any recipe that it’s called for. Interestingly, it can make for a better option in some cases.
Quorn mince does not dry out as you knead it, so it is perfect for making burger patties at home. When using Quorn, just do everything as you normally would, minus the fact that you would not be using beef. Quorn mince goes well in any recipe that uses beef mince as a staple.
Lasagna made from Quorn mince tastes strikingly similar to lasagna made from beef mince. The Quorn absorbs the flavors of everything else and might just take your lasagna to the next level. It’s the same with pretty much everything else; like tacos, bolognese, and shepherd’s pie.
Quorn mince is a plant-based alternative to beef mince. It is made from mycoprotein and fermented in a tank, using a similar process to virtually every other product that is made using a fermentation process. Quorn makes products for many dietary restrictions; including gluten-free and soy-free products as well as vegan and vegetarian.
Quorn mince tastes very similar to beef mince, when raw it is pretty plain. This is good news, as recipes that call for beef mince usually have many other ingredients. Quorn mince does an excellent job at absorbing the flavors of other foods, so it can help light up your recipe, if you’re open to it.