Quorn and tofu are popular meat alternatives for vegetarians and those looking to reduce their meat intake. But how do they compare in terms of nutritional values and protein content? Is one healthier and better than the other? We decided to investigate…
How is Quorn made?
Quorn is a processed meat alternative made from a type of fungus that goes through a fermentation process. This process results in Mycoprotein which is a type of protein that is high in fibre and low in saturated fat. Mycoprotein is the main ingredient in Quorn products.
How is tofu made?
Tofu is made from soybeans that have been soaked in water and then crushed and heated. This process creates soybean curd which is then pressed into blocks called tofu.
Quorn vs Tofu: Nutritional values
To see how Quorn and tofu compare in terms of nutritional values, we’ve created a table below showing fat, protein, carbohydrates and calories in both protein sources.
Keep in mind that the nutritional values for tofu below are general and vary from brand to brand.
|per 100 g||Quorn (pieces)||Tofu|
|Protein||13.8 g||8 g|
|Fat||2.6 g||4 g|
|Carbohydrates||1.7 g||2 g|
|Calories||99 kcal||70 kcal|
At first glance, you can quickly see that Quorn has more protein than tofu while tofu has more fat per 100 g than Quorn. The amount of carbohydrates is very similar in both meat alternatives with tofu containing only slightly more per 100 g than Quorn.
When it comes to calories, tofu is a winner here since it contains only 70 kcal per 100 g.
Remember that the exact nutritional values of tofu depend on the brand you are using. For this reason, we have included some of the most popular tofu brands and their corresponding nutritional values (per 100 g) below.
|Clearspring Organic Japanese Silken & Smooth Tofu||6.8g||3g||1.9g||64 kcal|
|Cauldron Tofu||13g||7.1g||1.0g||118 kcal|
|The Tofoo Co Naked Organic Extra Firm Tofu||12.6g||6.9g||2.9g||123 kcal|
|Biona Organic – Natural Tofu||7.2g||4g||0.9g||70 kcal|
As you can see from the table above, calories and protein content in tofu can vary significantly from brand to brand. These also depend on the type of tofu.
Quorn vs Tofu: Protein Content
Both Quorn and tofu are a good source of protein but Quorn has generally more protein per 100 g than tofu (13.8 g vs 8 g). However, there are tofu brands that have a comparable amount of protein to Quorn, for example, Cauldron Tofu contains 13 g of protein per 100 g.
Just for comparison, Biona’s tofu has only 7.2 g of protein per 100 g and Clearspring’s silken tofu comes close at 6.8 g of protein per 100 g. In this case, Quorn is a superior source of protein since it contains more protein per 100 g (13. 8g).
If you are looking to increase your protein intake, Quorn is normally a better choice but tofu is also a good option, you just need to pick tofu which contains a higher proportion of protein.
Both protein sources contain all nine essential amino acids that your body needs.
Quorn vs Tofu: Vitamins and Minerals
Both Quorn and tofu contain various vitamins and minerals.
In Quorn, you will find various B vitamins and minerals calcium, phosphorous and iron. There is also some magnesium, zinc, potassium and other minerals in Quorn.
Tofu provides good amounts of minerals manganese, calcium, selenium and phosphorus. It also has small amounts of magnesium, iron and zinc.
Depending on the brand, you will also find certain B vitamins in tofu such as B12. But not all brands fortify tofu with additional vitamins.
Quorn vs Tofu: Which one is healthier?
It’s difficult to say whether Quorn or tofu is healthier. It’s not a straight answer. Both protein sources are healthy as they are low in fat and calories. However, tofu is usually lower in calories and a better choice if you are trying to lose weight with a calorie-controlled diet. But you need to check the nutritional information of the individual brand as some types of tofu have more than 100 kcal per 100g.
If you are trying to increase your protein intake, Quorn is normally a better option since it contains more protein per 100 g than tofu but keep in mind that there are some tofu brands containing comparable amount of protein.
Both Quorn and tofu contain some vitamins and minerals but the problem with tofu is that it also contains some antinutrients. These affect the absorption of minerals into your body which is only a problem if you rely on tofu as your main source of iron and zinc.
There are some downsides of Quorn as well. Some people experience digestive issues when eating Quorn as they cannot tolerate Mycoprotein well.
The best is you try both protein sources and see how you tolerate them. You can then decide if you want to consume Quorn regularly or if you prefer tofu.