The story of a great discovery

The story of a great discovery

The history of yeast started in Prehistoric times but took a decisive turn in 1857 when Louis Pasteur discovered the fermentation process.

This discovery still influences our everyday lives. Bread, beer, food supplements.

Yeast is everywhere.

5,000 years ago, you had not risen…

… and yet the Egyptians already used yeast to make their bread! They had noticed this specificity without really understanding it. Some time later, in the first century AD, the Gauls added beer head (the foamy surface of their beer) to their bread preparation. This method helped to speed up fermentation and improve the taste of bread and the way it rose. Thanks to the Gauls, every time you get up in the morning, you can eat your toast.

Seeing is believing

The invention of the microscope by the Dutch lens manufacturer, Janssen, allowed the study of micro-organisms such as yeast. Zoom on these scientists and their discoveries.

In 1665, the cell was discovered, in 1680, the first observations of brewer’s yeast globules by Leewenhoeck. In 1857, Louis Pasteur analysed and understood the fermentation process. He claimed that yeasts were responsible for fermentation and demonstrated that the yeast cell could live with or without oxygen and was a key element in bread flavour and aroma.

Now yeast is everywhere

Nowadays, yeast is everywhere and is used for lots of things! Here are just a few examples…In the case of dead yeasts (or inactive, i.e. beyond 40°C), the yeast keeps its vitamins and minerals but it cannot be used to make bread.
Processes vary to obtain baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast.
Baker’s yeast is living and found in different forms: fresh, dry and liquid. Living yeast is also used to provide several health benefits (in particular bowel comfort and healthy intestinal flora). Brewer’s yeast (or nutritional yeast) is used as a food supplement.