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Natural yeast – the nutritious basis for yeast extract

14 April 2014

The ingredient yeast extract is obtained from natural yeast. Yeasts are single-celled micro-organisms which belong to the fungus family and can quickly multiply by means of cell division. For centuries, they have been used specifically in food and drink production, for example in brewing beer and baking bread.

In addition to high-quality protein compounds containing essential amino acids, yeast contains many B vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and biotin. On top of this, there are various minerals and trace elements such as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. However, the nutrients in unprocessed yeast cannot be used by the human body, as they are enclosed within a strong cell wall. To improve the nutrient supply, products containing broken-down yeast, such as nutritional yeast powder, are therefore used instead.

In yeast extract too, the ingredients of the yeast cell are also present in a broken-down form without the surrounding cell wall. The valuable components from the yeast cell are therefore still available. However, food producers only use yeast extract in small quantities – just like a spice. That’s because, as an ingredient, yeast extract primarily contributes an intense taste of its own. This taste comes from the amino acids that are by nature contained in the yeast cell. Yeast extract does not, therefore, considerably enrich foods with vitamins and minerals.