What is Yeast Extract?

Yeast extract is a versatile food ingredient derived from the same fresh yeast used for bread baking and beer production. Yeast extract can improve, intensify and add depth of flavor to a range of foods. Depending on the particular yeast extract, flavors can include buttery, roasted, grilled, cheesy and fatty, all with the overall richness of umami. With no synthetic, artificial, or animal ingredients, yeast extract is especially well-suited for use in vegetarian and vegan products.

yeast extract
 
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Used by chefs

Yeast extract is a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredient by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Because yeast extract is all-natural, it adds savory flavor to a wide range of foods without the need to add chemically derived flavor enhancers. Yeast extract is a proven safe ingredient that replaces salt, enhances flavor, and strengthens the cooking and baking process.

“We All Consume the Essence of Yeast Extract – Naturally!”  

One of the elements present in yeast extract is glutamic acid, which is naturally occurring in many foods, including cheese, tomatoes, peas, and mushrooms. It even occurs naturally in our saliva and in breast milk. In fact, homemade lasagna with ground beef, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese can contain more glutamic acid than you would find in a bowl of soup seasoned with yeast extract.

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How Common Is
Yeast Extract?

A staple ingredient that has been used by chefs for more than half a century, yeast extract is a savory seasoning in many foods including soups, meats, crackers, snack foods, and ready-to-eat meals like macaroni and cheese. Yeast itself has been used for thousands of years to make bread, beer, and wine.

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Why Do We Use Yeast Extract?



As an all-natural taste enhancer, yeast extract replaces salt, enhances flavor, and strengthens the cooking and baking process.

With a concentrated flavor called “umami” – which means savory in Japanese – yeast extract is a versatile and welcome flavoring, similar to vanilla extract or almond extract because it provides concentrated flavor in food. It gives your mouth a pleasant, savory sensation.

“In Case You Missed It…
Yeast Extract is Healthy”

Yeast extract is rich in Vitamin-B12 and is composed of amino acids. This makes it a healthy option for vegetarian foods, especially since it’s free of any animal ingredients. However, additional supplements in vegan diets are recommended. Chefs in restaurants and food companies use yeast extract as a natural replacement for salt. In fact, some yeast extracts can reduce – by up to 50 percent – the salt in food formulations.

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Top Five Important Facts About Yeast Extract

1. It’s tested

Bakers, brewers, and chefs have been using yeast in foods and beverages for almost 4,000 years, all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Yeast is a living organism, so it’s not really made. It’s fermented in a similar process to making beer or wine.

2. Hello, vegetarians

Yeast extract is an all-natural flavor enhancer with no synthetic, artificial, or animal ingredients – so it’s especially well-suited for use in vegetarian dishes.

3. Ultimately Versatile

Yeast extract is a savory seasoning in many foods, including soups, meats, crackers, snack foods, and ready-to-eat meals like macaroni and cheese.

For more information, check out this Wikipedia page.

4. Reduces salt

Yeast extract is a natural replacement for salt, because it is a natural, healthy source of full, complex savory taste. Some yeast extracts can reduce, by up to 50 percent, the salt in food formulations.

5. Recognized as Safe

Yeast extract is a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredient by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It’s rich and healthy blend of amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and high-quality proteins.

How much do you know about yeast extract? Take the quiz and see!


Test your knowledge on one of the oldest ingredients on the planet.


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Newsroom  

Yeast may be one of the oldest ingredients on the planet, but there’s still news. Explore the latest.

Questions about yeast extract? Visit our FAQs page.