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Teesside University partners with Quorn to drive protein sustainability and quality

11 March 2020 @TeessideUni

 

Research at Teesside University is helping one of the world’s foremost producers of meat substitutes to drive the sustainability and quality of its protein.

KTP associate Dr Nanda Ayu Puspita in the laboratories in the National Horizons Centre.
KTP associate Dr Nanda Ayu Puspita in the laboratories in the National Horizons Centre.

The University has begun a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Quorn Foods, to test different methods of making mycoprotein, the main ingredient in all Quorn products, that would lead to an even more sustainable production methodology and enhancements to product quality.

Over the course of two years, Dr Nanda Ayu Puspita, who has a PhD in Biochemistry, will project manage the KTP from Quorn’s new pilot plant in Billingham. She said: 'I am delighted to be part of this exciting project, which allows me to share my knowledge and expertise in proteomics research, and at the same time will help me to gain new experience in the industrial sector.'

The project team will have direct access to Teesside University’s £22.3 million National Horizons Centre, a UK centre of excellence for the biosciences based in Darlington. They will utilise specialist equipment for examining and testing different proteins to ensure they meet pre-approved food regulations.

Quorn is a meat substitute produced at a site in Billingham by fermenting a nutritious microorganism in the fungus family called Fusarium venenatum. This is, in turn, developed into more than 100 different Quorn products such as pieces, sausages and mince, which are sold primarily in Europe and the USA, and available in 18 countries.

The KTP will use ground-breaking new methods of proteomics, mass spectrometry and chromatography to identify and quantify proteins during the fermentation process as well using biochemical data to identify targets for new strains with desirable characteristics.

Dr Gillian Taylor, Principal Lecturer and Operational Manager of the National Horizons Centre, will lead the academic team providing supervision for the KTP. She said: 'Biosciences is a sector which has been forecast to grow considerably over the next few years, providing more jobs and investment in the region.

Quorn Foods is delighted to start this project with Teesside, which will provide evidence and technologies that will allow us to drive our products to new levels of sustainability and quality.

Dr Rob Johnson, Science Manager, Quorn Foods

'The National Horizons Centre opened in December last year with a specific remit to develop the skills and knowledge that will be needed to provide the skills, knowledge and graduate talent to facilitate and enable this growth.

'Quorn is a fantastic example of a Tees Valley company which is at the forefront of the bioscience sector, using innovative techniques to develop nutritious and sustainable foodstuffs which are sold across the world.

'We are very pleased to be working with Quorn using our facilities and expertise to help them expand further and develop new food technologies.'

Dr Rob Johnson, Science Manager at Quorn Foods, said: 'Quorn Foods is delighted to start this project with Teesside, which will provide evidence and technologies that will allow us to drive our products to new levels of sustainability and quality.'

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are funded by UKRI through Innovate UK with the support of co-funders, including the Scottish Funding Council, Welsh Government, Invest Northern Ireland, Defra and BEIS. Innovate UK manages the KTP programme and facilitates its delivery through a range of partners including the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Knowledge Bases and Businesses. Each partner plays a specific role in the support and delivery of the programme.


In the News

Quorn and Teesside University partner to drive protein sustainability
World Bakers, online, 17/03/2020
Teesside University has begun a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Quorn Foods, to test different methods of making mycoprotein, the main ingredient in all Quorn products .


Quorn foods enters partnership to develop its protein offering
Foodbev, online, 13/03/2020
Quorn Foods has entered into a collaboration with Teesside University to develop the quality and sustainability of its protein.


Teesside University partners with Quorn to drive protein sustainability and quality
North East Chamber of Commerce, online, 13/03/2020; Ulster Grocer, p.20, 01/04/2020
Research at Teesside University is helping one of the world's foremost producers of meat substitutes to drive the sustainability and quality of its protein.


Quorn partners with academia to boost quality, sustainability of mycoprotein
Food & Drink International, online, 12/03/2020; Food Ingredients First, online, 12/03/2020; New Food Magazine, online, 12/03/2020
Quorn Foods has partnered with Teesside University to boost the quality and sustainability of mycoprotein, the main ingredient across its product portfolio.


Teesside University partners with Quorn
Tees Business, online, 11/03/2020; BQ Magazine, online, 11/03/2020
Research at Teesside University is helping one of the world's foremost producers of meat substitutes to drive the sustainability and quality of its protein.


University partnership to drive sustainability at Quorn
Food Manufacture, online, 11/03/2020
Meat alternatives manufacturer Quorn has partnered with Teesside University to drive the sustainability of its products.


Uni team in partnership with food manufacturer
Newcastle Journal, p.24, 12/03/2020
Research at Teesside University is helping one of the world’s foremost producers of meat substitutes to drive the sustainability and quality of its protein.