The four year project we’re currently working
on with Quorn is all aimed at looking at the metabolic health and muscle-building capacities
of young healthy individuals. Concurrently with this we also run very similar studies
in older adults because a large part of our research is aimed at looking at the mechanisms
and interventions for sarcopenia, which is the progressive loss of muscle tissue. The
results we’ve got so far have been published and they’re terrific. They show great bioavailability
of the amino acids, of the protein quality in mycoprotein relative to milk protein. That’s
hugely reassuring for a number of consumers. The next step is to understand how good mycoprotein
is at building muscle – having digested a protein how good is it to convert into muscle? Again, relative to milk protein. The early results I’ve seen from that are hugely encouraging.
The mycoprotein they use is a unique food source, so to be able to address some of the
characteristics we know regulate metabolism, bioavailability of the amino acids, the availability
of other macronutrients aside from protein in a food, for example, gives us great insight
that stretches far beyond simply mycoprotein or milk protein, but to how our bodies respond
to any sort of protein.