Like yeast, yeast extract is a natural ingredient used by many professionals in the food industry. Like traditional yeast, it offers high nutritional value, but does not have the same purpose.
Used in cooking, yeast extract is used to improve the taste of dishes, like herbs or spices. Produced without chemical substances or additives, yeast extract is 100% natural and plant-based. That is why it is not considered to be an additive.
The taste of yeast extract is similar to vegetable, meat or poultry stock. This is explained by the fat that these stocks contain the same proteins as yeast extract. This ingredient contains 5% natural glutamate which gives a specific taste – umami – that is found in tomatoes, parmesan or soy sauce. Umami is the fifth flavour that can be added to the more easily recognisable savoury, sweet, bitter and acid.
It takes three stages to process yeast extract.
- Yeast is a living organism that needs sugar to live and multiply. It therefore needs to come into contact with glucid-rich elements like molasses which will give it the energy it needs.
- Yeast growth is stopped using thermal treatment once it has reached optimal development. Enzymes will transform the yeast into smaller particles with a more singular taste.
- During this last stage, a centrifuge is used to separate soluble and insoluble parts. Yeast extract (the soluble part) is used in liquid, paste or powder form to enrich the taste of our food.
What is its purpose?
Yeast extract improves the flavour of many food products (soups, sauces, stock cubes, savoury snacks, snacks, prepared dishes, sausages, etc…) Its taste value allows vegetarians and vegans to flavour their dishes without adding animal ingredients. Moreover, it is also suitable for low-salt products.