Yeast extract is the common name for yeast products made by extracting the cell contents (removing the cell walls); they are used as food additives or flavorings, or as nutrients for bacterial culture media. They are often used to create savory flavors and umami taste sensations, and can be found in a large variety of packaged food, including frozen meals, crackers, snack foods, gravy, stock and more. Yeast extracts in liquid form can be dried to a light paste or a dry powder.
Yeast extract consists of concentrations of yeast cells that are allowed to die and break up, so that the yeasts’ endogenous digestive enzymes break their proteins down into simpler compounds (amino acids and peptides).
Use in foods
Yeast autolysates are used in AussieMite, Mightymite, Vegemite, Marmite, New Zealand Marmite, Promite, Cenovis, Vitam-R, and Maggi sauce. Bovril (Ireland and the United Kingdom) switched from beef extract to yeast extract for 2005 and most of 2006, but later switched back.
The general method for making yeast extract for food products such as Vegemite and Marmite on a commercial scale is to add heat to a suspension of yeast. Yeast extract results from natural breakdown of yeast cells when they are heated. The natural enzymes found in the yeast cell disintegrates the cell wall so the extract dissolves out. Removing the cell walls concentrates the flavors and changes the texture.
|Place of origin||Germany|
|Main ingredients||Yeast extract|
(per 100 serving)
|223 kcal (934 kJ)|
(per 100 serving)
|Similar dishes||Marmite, Vegemite|
Vitam-R is a savory yeast extract spread made in Hameln, Germany by the company Vitam Hefe-Produkt GmbH. It was first developed by Rückforth AG in Stettin (today's Szczecin, Poland) in 1925 following the discovery by Justus von Liebig that yeast could be concentrated. It is sometimes described as having a smoother flavor than similar products such as Marmite, Vegemite or Cenovis. Unlike those brands, Vitam-R is not an iconic part of its home country's cuisine, but it is also described as having a love-it-or-hate-it flavor. It is both vegan and vegetarian and is sold primarily in Reformhaus health-food stores.
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Beispielhaft für den wissensbezogenen Wandel der Vermarktung steht Vitam-R, ein Hefeextrakt, der Ende der 1920er Jahre als »Fleischextrakt des Vegetariers«39 vermarktet wurde. Das Präparat wurde 1925 von der Stettiner Rückforth AG...
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But if Marmite stays off the shelves, Germany could have an answer. A company in Hameln has been making Vitam-R yeast spread since the 1920s. It may not have the same cachet as Marmite, but its smoother taste has a cult following among health food aficionados. But it, too, has become more expensive to import to Britain - even if, after Brexit, it will by default become the leading brand in the EU.
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