Yeast extract is the general name for various yeast products made by removing cell walls of the yeast culture and using the cell contents as food additives, flavorings and nutritional supplements or to make beer. Brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast are commonly grown specifically to make yeast extract supplements and should be distinguished from baker’s yeast, which is a different product made for a different purpose. Supplemental yeast extract can be consumed in liquid form, within food spreads or as powdered capsules. The health benefits of yeast extract are directly related to its high nutrient content, although consulting with your doctor before embarking on supplementation is always recommended.
Manufacturing Yeast Extract
A common method for making yeast extract for supplements or food products, such as Vegemite and Marmite, is to add salt to a suspension of yeast. The yeast cells shrivel up and start to break down, especially once heat is added. The thick cell walls of the yeast are then removed, which leaves the nutrient-rich contents of the cells. The processed extract is a very good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.