Mycoprotein and Satiety

Satiety is the sensation of being satisfied after consuming food or drink for the period of time after consumption until hunger returns. Satiety therefore has a fundamental impact on weight control, as it can affect energy intake.

A number of studies have investigated the effect of Mycoprotein on satiety, compared with other protein sources. They have all used the preload paradigm whereby the food in question or a control food is given as a preload, then satiety is measured by monitoring self-reported changes in appetite and energy intake at subsequent meals.

Generally this is done over the course of a day in a laboratory setting where the environment and food consumption are carefully controlled. This may be repeated over a period of days and subjects may record food intake and/or ratings of appetite over a time period following the experiment to monitor any further changes.

Burley et al. (1993) investigated the effects of Mycoprotein versus chicken on satiety in eighteen lean healthy male and female subjects. The two lunches were matched for energy and protein content, but the Mycoprotein meal was higher in fibre (11g compared with 3g in the chicken meal).

Subjects consumed the test lunch, then a meal in the evening. The study had a cross over design, so that all subjects completed two study days, one each for the Mycoprotein and chicken test meals.

Energy intake at the evening meal was reduced by 18% following the Mycoprotein meal. Self reported food intake indicated that subjects did not compensate for the decreased energy intakes by consuming more.

The authors speculated that, as Mycoprotein appeared to have a greater satiating power than other foods with similar fibre content, the specific types of fibre present might have strong effects on satiety (Burley et al. 1993).

Turnbull et al. (1993) conducted a similar study in thirteen lean healthy female subjects, also using a crossover design. Subjects were given either a chicken or Mycoprotein test lunch.

Ratings of appetite were taken just before the test meal and at intervals for three hours following. Palatability of the two meals was also measured and the ratings did not vary significantly between the Mycoprotein and chicken lunches. Energy intake was recorded by subjects using a food diary for the days before, during and after the study.

According to the food diaries, energy intake was reduced by 24% and 16.5% on the day of the study and the following day, respectively, after eating the Mycoprotein lunch compared with the chicken lunch.

Measures of subjects’ desire to eat and prospective food consumption were also reduced when measured three hours after the Mycoprotein versus the chicken lunch. Again, the authors suggested that Mycoprotein fibre seemed to be particularly satiating compared with studies using different types of fibre, particularly as the majority of fibre in Mycoprotein is insoluble and the strongest satiating affects tend to be seen with soluble fibres (Turnbull et al. 1993).