Thursday, August 1, 2013

Nutritional Yeast

A Quick Overview of Nutritional Yeast....


Nutritional yeast is a pure strain of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In the same family as edible mushrooms, yeast has been used in food and beverage production for more than 5,000 years. Today, the same strain is used to brew beer, make wine, and leaven breads as well as develop the nutritionally-rich food called nutritional yeast.

Each batch of nutritional yeast is grown on a mixture of cane and beet molasses for a period of seven days. B-vitamins are added during the process to provide the yeast with the nutrients it needs to grow. When harvested, the yeast is washed and then dried on roller drum dryers before it is ready for market. It is then used by food manufacturers in food products, added to boost the nutrient levels in many foods, and also simply packaged for sale in natural foods stores.

Red Star® is the leading producer of this product, providing almost all of the nutritional yeast sold in the bulk section of natural foods markets. Vegans (strict vegetarians) have used it for years as a source of vitamin B-12, an essential nutrient found primarily in animal products. Health seekers who strive to eat primarily a whole foods diet use nutritional yeast because it adds extra nutrients to their diet and also imparts a ‘cheesy’ flavor.

Unlike active baking yeast, nutritional yeast is grown solely for its nutritional value. It should not be confused with brewer’s yeast, a by-product of breweries and distilleries.  Nutritional yeast is a low-fat, low-sodium, kosher, non-GMO food that contains no added sugars or preservatives. The cane and beet molasses used in the growing process does not make nutritional yeast sweet and is not a source of simple sugars.


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