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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Jun;120(6):626-630. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2018.03.020. Epub 2018 Mar 19.

Self-reported adverse reactions associated with mycoprotein (Quorn-brand) containing foods.

Author information

1
Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, DC. Electronic address: mjacobson@cspinet.org.
2
Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, DC.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mycoprotein, which is produced by a mold and is the basis of Quorn-brand meat substitutes, is a novel cause of allergic and gastrointestinal reactions, but little information has been available on its associated symptomatology.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the nature and frequency of adverse reactions to mycoprotein.

METHODS:

Self-reports of adverse reactions to mycoprotein were collected via a Web-based questionnaire (www.quorncomplaints.org) and then analyzed.

RESULTS:

Analysis of 1,752 adverse reactions found that Quorn products caused allergic and gastrointestinal symptoms, with some people experiencing both. Allergic reactions, including urticaria and anaphylaxis, occurred within 4 hours of consumption in 312 people. Of those reactions, 45.8%, 1 fatal, began within 1 hour of exposure. Of those 312 individuals, 188 (60.3%) reported repeated reactions after repeated consumption of Quorn, and 2 people experienced 8 reactions (13 people did not say whether they experienced more than 1 reaction). Quorn foods caused gastrointestinal symptoms, including emesis and diarrhea, within 8 hours of consumption in 1,692 people. Of the gastrointestinal symptoms, 66.6% occurred 46 to 180 minutes after consumption of the products. Symptoms ranged from mild nausea to emesis severe enough to warrant medical attention.

CONCLUSION:

Mycoprotein may be causing numerous and sometimes life-threatening allergic and gastrointestinal reactions. The acceptance in the food supply of this nonessential ingredient deserves reconsideration.

PMID:
29567357
DOI:
10.1016/j.anai.2018.03.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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