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Mycoprotein to support societal health and sports nutrition

With a rising world population, increased urbanization and wealth creation, food demand is increasing. Therefore developing a sustainable food future is of vital importance. As a result, current and future generations are required to view developments in our understanding of human nutrition through the lens of mounting challenges associated with the sustainability of increased production.

Compounding considerations concerning overall food sustainability, is the increasing recognition that various populations (e.g. athletes, older adults) may benefit from modestly increasing their dietary protein intake. Though a strong evidence base has accumulated to show the nutritional value of animal derived dietary proteins to fulfil this societal need, concerns over the environmental cost of (increasing) animal derived protein production, together with shifting trends away from high levels of meat and dairy consumption, necessitates research to focus on the nutritional value of alternative, sustainably produced protein sources.

This strand of our research focuses on the fungal derived, sustainably produced protein rich food source mycoprotein. Within this topic we are running a series of experiments to evaluate whether mycoprotein may offer a viable alternative protein source capable of supporting human metabolism within the contexts of sports nutrition, metabolic health and healthy ageing.

Moreover, we focus on the physiological and molecular mechanisms by which differing effects may occur. Assembling such an evidence base will allow us to inform on policy decisions regarding where future generations protein sources should come from both from a sound nutritional science evidence base and in striving for a sustainable food future.