07 Feb Criteria to consider when choosing the ideal yeast extract
Since its introduction to the market in the 1950s, yeast extract has become an essential ingredient for food formulators looking to create tasteful, healthy, clean label recipes. Yeast extract is natural ingredient that works in a large variety of applications due to its unique characteristics and complex composition. It’s derived from fresh yeast, a natural ingredient that is non-GMO, vegan friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Yeast extract is used to intensify flavor, provide umami notes, reduce or eliminate the need for high salt, sugar and fat, as well as mask flavor off-notes in a wide range of sweet or savory products. Due to the fact that it is completely vegan, yeast extract is often used to bring meat or cheese notes in meat substitutes and animal-free products. As such, it has become one of the main ingredients that food formulators use to build complete flavor profiles in their food and beverage products. Yeast extracts help create healthy, nutritional, and flavorful products without artificial additives or taste enhancers. This is something that today’s discerning consumers seek. They are also a good source of complete proteins.
Yeast extracts are used to create high protein snacks, meat substitutes, dairy substitutes, alternative beverages, and as an ingredient in building taste and flavor in low-fat, low-sugar, and low-salt products. Due to its complex characteristics, choosing the right yeast extract (or combination of) is an essential decision. So, what characteristics should you consider when choosing yeast extract, and how does that affect the final product?
This article provides a step-by-step guide to some of the considerations that you need to consider when purchasing yeast extract.
1. Type of yeast-based ingredient required
The first question to ask is whether yeast extract is the right end-product for you. Yeast products come in many forms, including yeast extract, dry yeast, yeast bark, yeast protein, and many others. Choosing the correct product depends on the desired functionality, texture, and taste of the final product.
2. Ingredient format: Powder, micro-granule, liquid, semi-liquid or paste?
Another important factor to consider is the format of the final yeast extract. Depending on intended purpose or commercial processes, the product could be in a powder, micro-granule, liquid, semi-liquid or paste form. Paste and liquid forms are obtained after the normal evaporation and concentration stage. Powders require an additional step: spray drying – in which the water is evaporated off from the yeast extract liquid using hot air, resulting in a dried yeast extract. This process affects the texture and appearance of the final product. The choice of ingredient format influences nutrient concentration, consistency, solubility in liquid, final product color and structure, as well as ease of transport. For example, micro-granules will be more soluble in water than powder, while pastes and liquids may work better for sauces and beverages. Choosing the right format will also depend on your processes.
If you’re unsure, Biospringer’s experts can help you to define the final form of the yeast extract according to your specific requirements.
3. Format / packaging of the yeast
Another factor to consider when choosing the right yeast extract product is the packaging. Of course, the format will affect the packaging and storage requirements of the yeast extract. For example, powder and micro-granules may be packaged in bags, while paste and liquids may be stored in buckets, IBCs or other tanks. The format needs to work with your existing supply chain and processes. Choice of format and packaging may also influence the costs involved in transporting and storing the yeast extract, as well as space requirements.
4. Salt and sodium content
Another important factor you need to consider is the salt content. What percentage of salt content (or range) do you require for the final product? Of course, one of the main uses of yeast extract is to help reduce salt in final recipes without compromising on taste and flavor.
The strong natural aromatic taste of yeast extracts allows for reducing sodium content in products by up to 30% without compromising taste. Yeast extracts increase salt “perception” (such as umami taste) and add pleasant savory flavor notes. This means that final products will require less salt to provide a similar taste sensation. High-salt (or sodium) diets can cause inflammation, increased blood pressure (which can lead to heart disease and stroke), and a host of other health issues. Biospringer’s mission is to Create Responsible Taste. Helping you to reduce salt content of your products is a vital element in that mission.
5. Total Nitrogen content
You also need to know what nitrogen content you want in your yeast extract. Nitrogen is used for the synthesis of proteins, amino acids, DNA, and RNA, and so is an essential component in fermentation. Nitrogen content influences the amount and type of proteins (peptides) produced during fermentation. This affects the “quality” of proteins in the yeast extract, which influences the flavor and “mouthfulness” of the yeast extract and the final product.
At Biospringer, our experts can help you if you have specific requirements.
Solubility is another factor to consider when choosing your yeast extract. Solubility of the yeast extract depends on the format of the yeast extract (powder, paste, liquid, etc). It affects the appearance, transparency and color of the final product. It’s an important when considering the intended use of the yeast extract and the desired appearance of the end-product.
By carefully choosing the right yeast extract (or a combination of), you can create a variety of tastes and flavors, including vegetable, meaty, toasted, roasted, cooked, salted, and buttered flavor notes… each with varying levels of intensity. Yeast extracts provide multiple benefits, including taste improvement, umami richness, off-notes masking, and more. One of the main benefits of yeast extract is to improve tastetaste improvement – which can be described as both flavor and aroma. Yeast extracts can help to:
- Improve and build taste
- Bring a signature flavor
- Make healthier formulations
- Bring richness or ‘umami’
- As an ingredient in flavor manufacturing
By combining and layering multiple yeast extracts and other ingredients you can create a range of desired properties in your final products, including richness, smoothness, umami, mouthfulness, and so on. Furthermore, the taste profiles of different yeast extracts allow for the reduction of salt, fat or sugar content in your dishes, while retaining the desired pleasure and taste characteristics of the recipe. Yeast extracts are also an important alternative source of protein.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right yeast extract(s) for your products and formulations. It’s important to consider multiple factors, including format, ease of transport and storage, and most importantly taste, flavor, consistency, appearance and healthiness of the final product.
Biospringer has developed a strong expertise in developing and creating yeast extracts over many decades. We actively and continously work on yeast strain selection and yeast extract processing parameters to provide you with the best taste and sensory properties. That’s why Biospringer’s extensive expertise and knowledge can help you to find the right yeast extracts for your products.