What is yeast extract?

What is
yeast extract?

Yeast extract is a natural origin ingredient derived from fresh yeast. Yeast is a unicellular microorganism belonging to the fungus family, occurring in nature for millions of years. This same yeast is used to produce bread, wine and beer.

The interest in yeast as a savory ingredient to improve taste started beginning of the 20th century and was introduced to the market in the 1950’s.

Like herbs and spices, yeast extract is used by food companies and restaurants as an aromatic ingredient to design more flavorful food and beverage applications such as soups, sauces, seasonings, snacks, prepared meals, meat products, and more.

Want to know more about yeast extract ? Read our white paper about it here:

What are the characteristics of yeast extract?

Due to a great diversity of taste properties, yeast extract’s main benefit is the taste improvement of food and beverage applications. Some yeast extracts will round off-flavors, while others bring intense umami, or specific notes like beef, chicken, toasted, roasted, and more.


Considered safe and clean label, yeast extracts hold benefits beyond taste properties, making it a natural flavoring ingredient appropriate for most food and beverage applications:


  • Process resistant ingredients (acid, heat, and freeze), from oven cooking to canning process
  • Non-animal ingredients, suitable for vegan and vegetarian products
  • Non-GMO ingredients as the selected strains are non-genetically modified organisms
  • Halal and Kosher certified ingredients
  • Do not contain gluten* for several Baker’s yeast extracts, as no gluten derivative is used during process

*Please validate the use and labeling with local regulation

taste yeast extract

How is yeast extract produced?

Yeast extract production begins with fresh yeast and consists of 3 steps: fermentation, breaking of the cell wall (autolysis) and separation. Through a natural mechanism, yeast enzymes divide the yeast into taste providing components.

What is yeast extract made of?

To produce yeast extract, the cell content is broken down by the yeast’s own enzymes and the cell wall is removed. About 60% of the yeast extract composition is a blend of proteins and amino acids, bringing specific notes including a powerful umami taste.

Biospringer’s expertise in obtaining the “right” tasty components in the correct ratio offers a wide range of products with a great diversity of taste profiles.

What are the benefits of yeast extract in food and beverage formulation?

Yeast extract’s diversity in tastes and intensities allow food manufactures to address various formulation challenges:

  • Taste improvement: yeast extract can be used to strengthen the flavor base of a recipe. Yeast extracts will also bring specific flavor notes. Learn More…


  • Balance the nutritional profile: the umami and lingering taste properties make yeast extract an interesting ingredient to compensate salt, sugar and fat reduction. Learn more…


  • Off-note masking: yeast extract will mask off-notes originating from plant-proteins or sweeteners and their alternatives. Learn more…


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Biospringer’s expertise, at the service of taste

Over the years, Biospringer has leveraged its strong knowledge in strain selection, process and expertise in taste to develop a wide offering of taste profiles to bring pleasure to consumers.


Biospringer is committed to innovation by using a cutting-edge technology. Biospringer provides solutions and services to support the development of more flavorful, healthier and more balanced foods.

How is yeast extract made?

Yeast is a microscopic unicellular fungus that has been living on Earth for millions of years. Like any other cell, yeast is made of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals gathered within the cell walls.

Yeast extract is simply the yeast content without the cell wall, making it a natural origin ingredient. Its production consists of 3 main steps:

  1. Fermentation
  2. Breaking of the yeast cell (also known as autolysis)
  3. Separation

Want to know more about how yeast extract is made ? Read our white paper here:

Fermentation of the yeast

Step 1

First, the yeast strain is selected to meet the customer’s final use. This strain will then grow, nourished by a sugar source. To optimize the growth rate of the yeast, temperature and oxygen levels are closely monitored. The result of the fermentation is called “Yeast cream”, ready to undergo the next step: the Breakage.

Breakage of the yeast

Step 2

The aim of the breakage step is to solubilize the yeast cell content. After a cooling step to stop the growth of yeast population, the yeast cream is placed in large tanks at a temperature of 45-55 degrees Celsius. During this thermal process, the cell walls are broken down by the enzymes present in the yeast. The macromolecules of the cell are cut into smaller molecules, obtaining the following “tasty” components: Protein portions (peptides, free-amino acids such as glutamic acid), Nucleic acid (RiboNucleic Acid (RNA), Oligonucleotides, nucleotides (IMP-GMP…)), polysaccharides (sugars, mannanes and glucans). It is necessary to monitor the lysis to obtain the “tasty” components at the correct ratio. Each parameter of the breakage (temperature, and also pH) is crucial and influences the final tasting properties of yeast extract.

The separation

Step 3

Afterwards, the “tasty” components are separated from the cell walls through centrifugation and washing actions. From this moment on, the yeast cream becomes yeast extract and preserves most of the initial nutrients of the yeast. The yeast extract is then concentrated through a gentle evaporation to obtain a liquid soluble yeast extract.


Step 4

Based on customer’s needs, Biospringer has developed advanced technologies to offer different forms of yeast extract while preserving all its organoleptic properties and benefits. Biospringer yeast extracts can be purchased in three forms: liquid, paste, powder. Evaporation, concentration and spray-drying are additional steps to prepare the requested yeast extract commercial forms.


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BIOSPRINGER is a trademark and it does not imply systematically that the product is organic according to EU Regulation 2018/ 848, the status of each product supplied should be checked on the technical documentation.