Nutritional yeast is getting popular among vegetarians
by Michael Dong
Vegetarians and Their Diet Challenge
Due to a variety of reasons, such as fear of antibiotic residues and virus infection, concern for animal welfare, environmental sustainability, related to personal well-being and/or health, consumers are increasingly reducing their consumption of meat and other animal products. More and more people claim to be vegans, vegetarians or flexitarians.
In general, vegetarian diets provide relatively large amounts of cereals, pulses, nuts, fruits and vegetables, which are rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber, and relatively low in protein, vitamin B12 and Zn. Vegans may have particularly low intake of vitamin B12 and low intakes of Ca.
At present, plant protein represented by soybeans and peas is the most abundant and nutritious protein source besides animal protein in the world. It can be used as the main way for vegetarians to get a protein supplement. But there are also some disadvantages of plant proteins, such as the climate, land shortage, environmental influence make the output and price unstable, also people are worried about the GMO risk, heavy metals and pesticide residues.
The absorption rate of iron, zinc, calcium and other minerals in vegetarian food is low, which is not as good as animal food. The greater the proportion of vegetarian food in the diet, the lower the absorption rate of minerals.
Vitamin B12 and other vitamins are relatively lacking in vegetarian diets, and vegetarians also need to supplement them in other ways. Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is naturally obtained through red meat, eggs, fish, shellfish and dairy. It is an essential nutrient for the human body, and the lack of it can induce megaloblastic anemia, nervous system damage, hyper-homocysteinemia, etc.
So, how to find a nutritional food which can supply enough high-quality protein, vitamin B12 and minerals is a big challenge to all vegans and vegetarians. If you ask vegans or vegetarians about this nutrition issue, most of them will recommend you a superfood called nutritional yeast flakes, and this superfood is popular with vegans as a substitute for cheese in recipes, and it already become an essential nutrients filling station in every vegan's kitchen.
Nutritional Yeast is an Essential Superfood for Vegetarians
Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is well known to be used to bake bread and brew beer. At the same time, yeast can be prepared as a healthy and nutritional food product, which is a great source of high-quality protein, B vitamins, trace minerals and dietary fiber while containing low fat, low calories and without cholesterol.
Nutrition features of Angel nutritional yeast flakes
Nutritional yeast contains all nine essential amino acids that humans must get from foods. One 100 grams yeast contains about 50 grams of protein, making it an easy way for vegans to add high-quality protein to meals.
Nutritional yeast contains rich and complete B vitamins: One tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains 30–180% of the RDI for B vitamins. Furthermore, fortified nutritional yeast is commonly available. This type contains synthetic vitamins added during the manufacturing process to boost nutrients content. If vitamins have been added to the yeast, they will be included in the ingredients list. Thus, it is especially rich in thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
Nutritional yeast flakes
Nutritional yeast contains abundant trace minerals: One tablespoon contains 2-30% of the RDI for trace minerals, such as zinc, selenium, manganese and molybdenum.
To produce the nutritional yeast, S. cerevisiae cells are grown for several days on a sugar-rich medium like molasses. The yeast is then harvested, washed, and dried on roller drums, crumbled and packaged for distribution. The yeast cells are killed during manufacturing and not alive in the final product. Growing it on molasses and drying it in a special way are what give it the wonderfully cheesy, nutty or savory flavor we have come to love and appreciate so much.
Nutritional yeast flakes
Nutritional yeast is sold as flakes or powder and can be found in the spice section or bulk bins of health food stores. It is a versatile food that works with nearly any type of diet or eating style. It is naturally low in sodium and calories, as well as sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan.
How to Use Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast should be stored in a cool, dark place to preserve its vitamins. It should also be kept tightly sealed to keep moisture out. When properly stored, it can last up to two years.
Finished products of Nutritional yeast flakes
Some common uses include sprinkling nutritional yeast on popcorn, pasta or freshly baked pizza dough in lieu of cheese. It can also lend a satisfying tang to kale chips, roasted vegetables or nuts. Serving sizes are typically 1 or 2 tablespoons. It is safe to use nutritional yeast in moderation, typically up to several tablespoons per day.
Nutritional yeast commonly has a high content of nucleic acid, the purines from which are metabolized in the human body to uric acid. It is recommended a limit of 30 g per day may be safely incorporated in the diet. While nutritional yeast is safe to consume for most people, anyone who is allergic to yeast should not consume it.
Nutritional yeast is a highly nutritious vegan food product with various potential health benefits, it can be safely enjoyed by most people and purchased at your local health food store. Because of its nutritious characters and irresistible flavor, nutritional yeast is also accepted by more people who stick to health lifestyle.
1. Clarys P, et al. Nutrients. 2014, 6: 1318-1332.
2. Key T J, et al. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2006, 65: 35-41.
3. Janssen M, et al. Appetite. 2006, 105: 643-651.
4. Donaldson M S. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 2000, 44: 229-234.
Specialized in yeast and fermentation, AHH is committed to developing innovative, differentiated, science-based functional ingredients and customized solutions, to help our customers get enduring success, as well as contribute to a healthier and sustainable world together.
Angel Yeast Company is a high-tech listed company specializing in yeast and biotech. Product business covers Yeast and Baking, Yeast Extract-Savoury, Nutrition & Health and Biotechnology fields. It is one of the world's leading companies in the yeast industry. Angel has 12 holding subsidiaries and provides products and services for more than 150 countries and regions.
ANGEL YEAST CO., LTD
Address: 168 Chengdong Avenue, Yichang, Hubei 443003, P.R.China
Tel: +86 717 6369570