The university has begun a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the food firm to test different methods of producing mycoprotein, the main ingredients of all Quorn products, in an effort to achieve even more sustainable methods of manufacture.
Dr Nanda Ayu Puspita at Teesside University will manage the project over the course of two years from Quorn’s pilot plant in Billingham, County Durham.
New scientific methods
Puspita’s team will utilise new methods of proteomics, mass spectrometry and chromatography identify and quantify proteins during the fermentation process – the method of creating mycoprotein, as well use biochemical data to identify targets for new strains with desirable characteristics.
The KTP will have access to Teesside University’s £22.3m National Horizons Centre, a national hub of excellence for the biosciences, based in Darlington.
Dr Gillian Taylor, principal lecturer and operational manager of the National Horizons Centre, said: “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 that are sold across the world.
‘New food technologies’
“We are very pleased to be working with Quorn, using our facilities and expertise to help them expand further and develop new food technologies.”
Taylor said Quorn’s partnership with the university demonstrated the continued support the food and drink industry was investing into the biosciences sector, which he said had been forecast to grow considerably over the next few years.
Quorn Foods science manager Rob Johnson added: “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.”
Meanwhile, last month, Ginsters partnered with Quorn to develop its own vegan sausage roll, as Quorn struggled to meet demand for its products.