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Production of Food Grade Yeasts



Summary Yeasts have been known to humans for thousands of years as they have been used in traditional fermentation processes like wine, beer and bread making. Today, yeasts are also used as alternative sources of high nutritional value proteins, enzymes and vitamins, and have numerous applications in the health food industry as food additives, conditioners and flavouring agents, for the production of microbiology media and extracts, as well as livestock feeds. Modern scientific advances allow the isolation, construction and industrial production of new yeast strains to satisfy the specific demands of the food industry. Types of commercial food grade yeasts, industrial production processes and raw materials are highlighted. Aspects of yeast metabolism, with respect to carbohydrate utilization, nutri- tional aspects and recent research advances are also discussed.
ISSN 1330-9862 review
Production of Food Grade Yeasts
Argyro Bekatorou*, Costas Psarianos and Athanasios A. Koutinas
Food Biotechnology Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, GR-26500 Patras, Greece
Received: January 30, 2006
Accepted: March 20, 2006
Yeasts have been known to humans for thousands of years as they have been used in
traditional fermentation processes like wine, beer and bread making. Today, yeasts are also
used as alternative sources of high nutritional value proteins, enzymes and vitamins, and
have numerous applications in the health food industry as food additives, conditioners
and flavouring agents, for the production of microbiology media and extracts, as well as
livestock feeds. Modern scientific advances allow the isolation, construction and industrial
production of new yeast strains to satisfy the specific demands of the food industry. Types
of commer cial food grade yeasts, industrial production processes and raw materials are
highlighted. Aspects of yeast metabolism, with respect to carbohydrate utilization, nutri-
tional aspects and recent research advances are also discussed.
Key words: food grade yeasts, single cell proteins (SCP), raw materials, propagation, baker’s
yeast, brewer’s yeast, distiller’s yeast, Torula, whey, kefir, probiotics
Yeasts are a group of unicellular microorganisms most
of which belong to the fungi division of Ascomycota and
Fungi imperfecti. Yeasts have been known to humans for
thousands of years as they have been used in fermenta
tion processes like the production of alcoholic beverages
and bread leavening. The industrial production and com
mercial use of yeasts started at the end of the 19th cen
tury after their identification and isolation by Pasteur. To
day, the scientific knowledge and technology allow the
isolation, construction and industrial production of yeast
strains with specific properties to satisfy the demands of
the baking and fermentation industry (beer, wine, cider
and distillates). Food grade yeasts are also used as sources
of high nutritional value proteins, enzymes and vitamins,
with applications in the health food industry as nutri
tional supplements, as food additives, conditioners and
flavouring agents, for the production of microbiology me
dia, as well as livestock feeds. Yeasts are included in start
er cultures, for the production of specific types of fer
mented foods like cheese, bread, sourdoughs, fermented
meat and vegetable products, vinegar, etc.
The significance of yeasts in food technology as well
as in human nutrition, as alternative sources of protein
to cover the demands in a world of low agricultural pro
duction and rapidly increasing population, makes the
production of food grade yeasts extremely important. A
large part of the earth’s population is malnourished, due
to poverty and inadequate distribution of food. Scien
tists are concerned whether the food supply can keep up
with the pace of the world population increase, with
the increasing demands for energy, the ratio of land area
required for global food supply or production of bio
energy, the availability of raw materials, as well as the
maintenance of wild biodiversity (1–4). Therefor e, the pro
duction of microbial biomass for food consumption is a
main concern for the industry and the scientific commu
The impressive advantages of microorganisms for
single cell protein (SCP) production compared with con
ventional sources of protein (soybeans or meat) are well
known. Microorganisms have high protein content and
short growth times, leading to rapid biomass production,
which can be continuous and is independent from the
environmental conditions. The use of fungi, especially
A. BEKATOROU et al.: Food Grade Yeasts, Food Technol. Biotechnol. 44 (3) 407–415 (2006)
*Corresponding author; Phone: ++30 2610 997 123; Fax: ++30 2610 997 105; E-mail:
yeasts, for SCP production is more convenient, as they
can be easily propagated using cheap raw materials and
easily harvested due to their bigger cell sizes and floc
culation abilities. Moreover, they contain lower amounts
of nucleic acids than bacteria (5–7).
Yeast Metabolism
Yeasts are facultative anaerobes, and can grow with
or without oxygen. In the presence of oxygen, they con
vert sugars to CO
, energy and biomass. In anaerobic con
ditions, as in alcoholic fermentation, yeasts do not grow
efficiently, and sugars are converted to intermediate by-
-products such as ethanol, glycerol and CO
. Therefore,
in yeast propagation, the supply of air is necessary for
optimum biomass production. The main carbon and
energy source for most yeasts is glucose, which is con
verted via the glycolytic pathway to pyruvate and by the
Krebs cycle to anabolites and energy in the form of ATP.
Yeasts are classified according to their modes of further
energy production from pyruvate: respiration and fermen
tation. These processes are regulated by environmental
factors, mainly glucose and oxygen concentrations. In res
piration, pyruvate is decarboxylated in the mitochond
rion to acetyl-CoA which is completely oxidized in the
citric acid cycle to CO
, energy and intermediates to pro-
mote yeast growth. In anaerobic conditions, glucose is
slowly utilized to produce the energy required just to
keep the yeast cell alive. This process is called fermen-
tation, in which the sugars are not completely oxidized
to CO
and ethanol. When the yeast cell is exposed to
high glucose concentrations, catabolite repression occurs,
during which gene expression and synthesis of respira-
tory enzymes are repressed, and fermentation prevails
over respiration. In industrial practice, catabolite repres-
sion by glucose and sucrose, also known as Crabtree ef-
fect, may lead to several problems, such as incomplete
fermentation, development of off-flavours and undesirable
by-products as well as loss of biomass yield and yeast
vitality (8–10).
Yeasts can metabolize various carbon substrates but
mainly utilize sugars such as glucose, sucrose and malt
ose. Sucrose is metabolized after hydrolysis into glucose
and fructose by the extracellular enzyme invertase. Mal
tose is transferred in the cell by maltose permease, and
metabolized after hydrolysis into two molecules of glu
cose by maltase. Some yeasts can utilize a number of
unconventional carbon sources, such as biopolymers,
pentoses, alcohols, polyols, hydrocarbons, fatty acids and
organic acids, which is of particular interest to food and
environmental biotechnologists. For example, lactose can
be utilized by yeasts that have the enzyme b-galactosi
dase. The yeasts of genera Kluyveromyces and Candida can
grow e.g. in whey, yielding biomass under certain condi
tions, with applications in food production. Biopolymers
like starch, cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin can be
metabolized by some yeasts directly, or after hydrolysis
by non-yeast enzymes. Some yeast species of Hansenula,
Pichia, Candida and Torulopsis are also able to grow on
methanol as sole energy and carbon source. The inabil
ity of yeasts to ferment certain sugars can be overcome
by r-DNA technology, introducing genes of the corre
sponding enzymes from other species (8,11). Finally, ele
ments like N, P, S, Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn are essential to all
yeasts and are usually added to the growth media. Most
yeasts are capable of assimilating directly ammonium
ions and urea, while very few species have the ability to
utilize nitrates as nitrogen source. Phosphorus and sul
phur are usually assimilated in the form of inorganic
phosphates and sulphates, respectively.
Food Grade Yeasts
Various microorganisms are used for human con
sumption worldwide as SCP or as components of tradi
tional food starters, including algae (Spirulina, Chlorella,
Laminaria, Rhodymenia, etc.), bacteria (Lactobacillus, Cellulo
monas, Alcaligenes, etc.), fungi (Aspergillus, Penicillium, etc.)
and yeasts (Saccharomyces, Candida, Kluyveromyces, Pichia
and Torulopsis)(6,7). Among the yeast species, Saccharo
myces cerevisiae and Candida utilis are fully accepted for
human consumption, but very few species of yeast are
commercially available.
The most common food grade yeast is Saccharomyces
cerevisiae, also known as baker’s yeast, which is used
worldwide for the production of bread and baking pro
ducts. S. cerevisiae is the most widely used yeast species,
whose selected strains are used in breweries, wineries
and distilleries for the production of beer, wine, distil-
lates and ethanol. Baker’s yeast is produced utilizing mo-
lasses from sugar industry by-products as a raw mate-
rial. Commercial S. cerevisiae and other yeast products
available to cover the needs of the baking and alcoholic
fermentation industries or for use as nutritional supple-
ments for humans and/or animals are described in the
following paragraphs.
Bakers yeast
Fresh baker’s yeast consists of approximately 30–33 %
of dry materials, 6.5–9.3 % of nitrogen, 40.6–58.0 % of
proteins, 35.0–45.0 % of carbohydrates, 4.0–6.0 % of lipids,
5.0–7.5 % of minerals and various amounts of vitamins,
depending on its type and growth conditions. Commer
cial fresh baker’s yeast includes products in liquid, creamy
or compressed forms and active dry yeast. Compressed
baker’s yeast is the most commonly used product, con
sisting of only one yeast species, S. cerevisiae. Special
strains of S. cerevisiae can be used for the production of
dry yeast products, like active dry yeast or instant dry
yeast. Active dry yeast consists of grains or beads of live
dried yeast cells with leavening power, while instant
dry yeast usually comes in the form of fine particles that
do not require rehydration before use. Unlike active dry
yeast, inactive dry yeast is a product without leavening
properties, used for the conditioning of dough proper
ties in baking or the development of characteristic fla
Brewer’s yeasts
Pure brewer’s yeast cultures are produced industrial
ly to supply the brewing industry. Usually two Saccharo
myces species are used: S. uvarum, formerly known as S.
carlsbergensis, which is used for the production of several
types of beer with bottom fermentation (lager yeasts),
and S. cerevisiae, which conducts top fermentation (ale
A. BEKATOROU et al.: Food Grade Yeasts, Food Technol. Biotechnol. 44 (3) 407–415 (2006)
yeasts). Due to recent reclassification both ale and lager
yeast strains are considered S. cerevisiae species. Top-fer
menting yeasts are used for the production of ales, porters,
stouts, wheat beers, etc., and bottom-fermenting yeasts
are used for lager beers like Pilsners, Bocks, American
malt liquors, etc. (12). Inactive brewer’s yeast prepara
tions, made from inactive yeast and other special ingre
dients, are produced commercially to be used as nutrients
to reinitiate or avoid sluggish and stuck fermentations.
Nutritional brewer’s yeast
Commercial, nutritional brewer’s yeast is inactive yeast
(dead yeast cells with no leavening power), remaining
after the brewing process. Brewer’s yeast is produced by
cultivation of S. cerevisiae on malted barley, separated
after the wort fermentation, debittered and dried. It is
an excellent source of protein and it is used as a nutrient
supplement rich in B vitamins. Brewer’s yeast products are
usually found in the form of powders, flakes or tablets,
or in liquid form. Liquid yeast contains enzymatically
digested yeast for better digestion, absorption and utiliza
tion. Brewer’s yeast should not be confused with »bre
wer’s type yeasts«, which are pure yeasts usually grown
on enriched cane or beet molasses under controlled pro
duction conditions, and are not by-products of the brew
ing process.
Brewer’s yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins,
Ca, P, K, Mg, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn and Cr and has been stu-
died extensively for its medicinal properties. It is often
used for the treatment of diabetes (regulation of insulin
levels), loss of appetite, chronic acne, diarrhoea, etc.(13–
15). It is also recommended as a dietary supplement for
healthy hair and nails. Nevertheless, according to some,
brewer’s yeast is suspected of causing various problems,
like chronic fatigue, memory disorders, immunodefi-
ciency, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, etc., mainly
due to the presence of yeast antigens and high amounts
of Cr and salicylates (16,17).
Wine yeasts
A wide variety of pure yeast cultures, mainly Sac
charomyces (S. cerevisiae, S. bayanus, S. uvarum, S. oviformis,
S. carlsbergensis, S. chevalieri, S. diastaticus, S. fructuum, S.
pasteurianus, S. sake, S. vini, etc.) are produced industrial
ly for the use in induced wine fermentations, according
to the industrial demands for fermentation efficiency and
productivity. The suitable type of yeast is selected with
respect to the geographical area, climate, type of grapes
and desirable organoleptic quality of the product (taste,
aroma, colour, tannin and glycerol content, etc.). Pure yeast
cultures are also used to conduct specific types of fer
mentations, like bottle fermentation of Champagne and
sparkling wines, or to treat stuck and sluggish fermen
Distillers yeasts
Distiller’s yeasts are used for the industrial produc
tion of alcohol and spirits (brandy, whiskey, rum, tequila,
etc.). They are usually isolated from industrial fermen
tations of fruit pulps and beet or sugar cane molasses.
Their selection depends on the desired product proper
ties, including flavour, alcohol yield, productivity, and
other technological features. Generally, distiller’s yeasts
must exhibit low foam formation, high stress-tolerance
and high alcohol yields. They must also form controlled
amounts of ethyl esters, aldehydes, fatty acids and high
er alcohols, which is an important prerequisite for the
production of fine quality distillation products. Distiller’s
yeasts must be able to ferment various substrates, such
as corn, barley, wheat, potato, etc. after hydrolysation in
fermentable sugars. They must be able to conduct fast
fermentations with high productivities and low produc
tion costs, and tolerate high temperatures, osmotic pres
sures and alcohol concentrations (18–20).
Probiotic yeasts
»Probiotics are live microbial feed supplements which
beneficially affect the host animal by improving its in
testinal microbial balance«, or by a wider definition »pro
biotics are microbial cell preparations or components of
microbial cells that have a beneficial effect on the health
and well-being of the host« (21). Probiotic properties of
yeasts, like S. cerevisiae, have been reported and display
ed as the ability to survive through the gastrointestinal
(GI) tract and interact antagonistically with GI pathogens
such as Esherichia coli, Shigella and Salmonella. Specifically,
S. boulardii, a thermophylic, non-pathogenic yeast, has been
used for more than 50 years as a livestock feed probiotic
supplement as well as therapeutic agent for the treat-
ment of a variety of gut disorders like diarrhoea. This
yeast is safe, it is resistant to antibiotics, achieves high
cell numbers in the intestine in short time, does not per-
manently colonize the intestine and is quickly cleared
after the cease of administration. Its probiotic effects are
also enhanced by its ability to produce polyamines, which
are compounds that strongly affect cell growth and dif-
ferentiation (22–24). S. boulardii is widely used and is
available in various commercial formulations. Other yeasts
allowed and commonly used in animal feeds as probio
tic additives are Candida pintolopesii, C. saitoana and S.
cerevisiae (25,26).
Yeast extract
Yeast extract is the product of enzymatic digestion
of the yeast cell constituents by endogenous and exoge
nous yeast enzymes. It is rich in peptides, amino acids,
nucleotides and vitamins, therefore it is good for use as
supplement in culture media. It is also used in pharma
ceuticals, as well as flavour and taste enhancer (replac
ing glutamates and nucleotides) in many canned foods.
Although brewer’s yeasts contain residual beer flavour
compounds (mainly constituents of hops), they are com
monly used for commercial food grade yeast extract pro
duction, which is destined for use as supplement in both
human and animal foods, and as flavour enhancer (27).
Torula yeast
Torula or Candida yeast refers to products containing
Candida utilis, which have been used commercially for
more than 60 years as nutritional supplements in animal
feeds. Food grade Torula yeast is cultivated in mixtures
of sugars and minerals, usually containing molasses, cel
lulosic wastes (e.g. spruce wood) or brewing by-prod
ucts. After cultivation the yeast is harvested, washed,
A. BEKATOROU et al.: Food Grade Yeasts, Food Technol. Biotechnol. 44 (3) 407–415 (2006)
thermolyzed and dried. Thermolysis renders the yeast
cells inactive, losing their fermentation ability. The yeast
is then usually spray-dried into a fine powder with
slight yeasty and meaty flavours. It is a highly digestible
and nutritious food, containing more than 50 % of pro
tein (rich in lysine, threonine, valine and glutamic acid),
minerals and vitamins (mainly niacine, pantothenic acid
and B vitamins). Torula yeast can be used as a meat sub
stitute or food additive in many processed foods, in sea
sonings, spices, sauces, soups, dips, etc. It is also used in
vegetarian and diet food, in baby food, meat products,
doughs, etc.(28–31).
Whey yeasts
A variety of microorganisms, especially those pre
sent in milk microflora, are able to utilize whey, the main
by-product of the dairy industry, but only a few are ap
proved as GRAS by the USFDA for use in food industry
(32). The yeasts most widely studied and used at indu
strial scale for the production of yeast biomass from whey
are the lactose fermenting Kluyveromyces yeasts K. lactis
and K. marxianus (formerly classified as K. fragilis). Kluy
veromyces yeasts can efficiently grow on lactose as sole
carbon source, although it has been reported that under
aerobic conditions (like those used in biomass produc
tion) some K. marxianus strains present a mixed type me-
tabolism, with intermediate metabolite production (alco-
hol, aldehydes, esters, etc.) and low yields of biomass
Lactose fermenting yeasts are also found in kefir, a
natural mixed culture found in the Caucasian milk drink.
It contains various microorganisms, sharing symbiotic re-
lationships, including species of lactose-fermenting yeasts
such as Kluyveromyces, Candida, Saccharomyces, Debaryo-
myces, Zygosaccharomyces, lactic acid bacteria and occasio-
nally acetic acid bacteria (34). Kefir yeasts have been used
at semi-industrial scale for whey lactose utilization and
production of value added products such as ethanol, bio
mass, lactic acid and alcoholic beverages (35). Kefir pro
duced using whey has also been evaluated as starter
culture in bread making and maturation of cheeses with
good results (36–38).
Sourdough starters
Sourdough is a mixture of flour and water, contain
ing yeasts and lactic acid bacteria, used as starter culture
to leaven bread. The use of sourdough has a number of
important advantages over baker’s yeast, such as the de
velopment of characteristic flavour (39) and texture (40),
as well as extension of preservation time through the in
situ production of antimicrobial compounds (e.g. bacte
riocins) (41). Therefore, sourdoughs are produced at com
mercial level using various combinations of yeasts and
bacteria, and are used for the conditioning of dough,
improvement of preservation time and the development
of breads and baking products with special organoleptic
properties (38).
Nutritional Aspects
Today yeast SCP are considered a potential protein
source for humans as well as animals. Food grade yeasts
can provide proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins (main
ly the B group), minerals, essential amino acids (mainly
lysine) (6,42). Generally, the lysine content in yeasts is
higher than in bacteria or algae. Moreover, yeasts con
tain low amounts of nucleic acids (6–12 % on dry mass
basis) (6,7). The acceptability of a particular microorga
nism as food or feed depends on its nutritional value and
safety (including nucleic acid content, presence of toxins
and residual undesirable compounds such as heavy me
tals). SCP for human consumption should be free from
nucleic acids as purine bases are metabolized to uric
acid, creating problems to humans that do not possess
the enzyme uricase (6). Nucleic acid content in SCP can
be reduced by chemical treatment and autolytic me
thods (precipitation, acid or alkaline hydrolysis and/or
enzymatic treatment). Generally, the processes involved
in SCP production include mechanical disruption of cell
walls, removal by centrifugation, precipitation and ex
trusion of proteins to form the textured products (6).
Today, the only species fully acceptable as food for humans
is S. cerevisiae (baker’s and brewer’s yeasts). Novel SCP
sources demand extensive quality controls and should
be purified to meet international safety standards.
Yeasts may cause common food intolerances, although
in smaller frequency than other foodstuffs such as milk,
eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, meat, chemical additives, etc.
Salicylates occurring naturally or added in foods as fla-
vouring agents (benzyl, methyl, ethyl, isoamyl, isobutyl
and phenethyl salicylates) may be present in yeast and
yeast extracts and may be associated with food intole-
rance symptoms in susceptible people (43,44). Also, the
foreign protein in yeasts may cause allergic reactions to
humans. Finally, digestibility is an important factor that
should be considered when SCP is used as food sup-
Yeast Production: Established Technology and
Raw materials
The raw materials used as substrates for industrial
yeast biomass production are usually agricultural, fores
try and food waste by-products. There are two types of
raw materials depending on the grown microorganism:
conventional materials like starch, molasses, distiller’s
wash, whey, fruit and vegetable wastes, wood, straw, etc.,
and unconventional ones like petroleum by-products,
natural gas, ethanol and methanol (6).
The most widely used substrate for baker’s yeast pro
duction is cane or beet molasses, the main by-product of
the sugar industry. Molasses contain 45–55 % ferment
able sugars including sucrose, glucose, fructose, raffinose,
melibiose and galactose. The use of molasses for the
production of food grade yeast is determined by their
availability and low cost, their composition and absence
of toxic substances and fermentation inhibitors (45). The
fermentation mixture for optimum yeast biomass produc
tion is usually fixed to pH=4.5–5.0 and enriched by the
addition of extra nutrients (N, P, Mg, Ca, trace amounts
of Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, and vitamins, usually biotin), depend
ing on the initial composition of molasses. Molasses
A. BEKATOROU et al.: Food Grade Yeasts, Food Technol. Biotechnol. 44 (3) 407–415 (2006)
contain approx. 40 % (dry mass) of nonfermentable sub
stances that are eventually rejected and constitute a sig
nificant cause of pollution and increase of production cost
due to required waste treatment operations. The nonfer
mentable substances are usually collected and used as
animal feed or as fertilizers.
Whey is the main waste of the dairy industry. It is
produced worldwide in large amounts and its disposal
causes serious environmental problems due to its high
organic load (COD 35 000–68 000), which makes its full
treatment impossible (5). On the other hand, whey has a
significant nutritional value since it contains respectable
amounts of proteins, lactose, organic acids, fat, vitamins
and minerals. Therefor e, its conversion to products of ad
ded value is a major concern for science and industry.
The composition (high salt concentrations) and tempera
ture of whey at the moment of its production in the fac
tory do not allow easy microbial utilization. Lactose, the
main sugar constituent in whey, can be metabolised
only by a few species of the Kluyveromyces and Candida
yeasts. The yeast S. cerevisiae cannot utilize lactose be
cause it lacks the enzyme b-galactosidase and lactose per
mease. K. marxianus is the only strain used for biomass
production from whey on a commercial scale.
S. cerevisiae can utilize starch, only after its conver-
sion to fermentable sugars, glucose and maltose. Hydro-
lysis of starch to glucose can be done either by treatment
with acid or non-yeast enzymes. Enzymatic treatment in-
cludes three different processes: gelatinisation by heat-
ing, liquefaction by thermostable a-amylases, and saccha-
rification by mixed enzyme activities (46). Nevertheless,
processes like these imply considerable costs, which is
the main limiting factor in industrial utilization of starch
for yeast biomass production. Starch can be utilized by
mixed cultures of yeasts and amylolytic fungi like Asper
gillus species for SCP or ethanol production (6,46).
Residues of forestry and agriculture
Wastes of agriculture and forestry are rich in cellu
lose, hemicellulose and lignin. Their enzymatic conver
sion to fermentable sugars requir es chemical pretreatment
that leads to various polymer fragments. S. cerevisiae does
not have the variety of enzymes required to hydrolyse
these polymers. As a result, yeast biomass production
on lignocellulosic wastes implies a high economic cost.
A solution to this problem could be the use of mixed
cultures of S. cerevisiae and cellulolytic microorganisms,
but this process is today applied for ethanol production
in pilot plants only (47).
Propagation processes
Industrial propagation of yeast is done on abundant
ly available and cheap agricultural and industrial wastes,
mainly molasses, by successive submerged fermentations.
After fermentation, the yeast biomass is harvested and
may be subjected to downstream processing steps like
washing, cell disruption, protein extraction and purifica-
Industrial yeast production generally involves the fol-
lowing stages as described below: propagation, involv-
ing a number of fermentation processes, harvesting, con-
centration and/or drying, packaging and shipment. Fig. 1
presents a commercial baker’s yeast propagation scheme
A. BEKATOROU et al.: Food Grade Yeasts, Food Technol. Biotechnol. 44 (3) 407–415 (2006)
Fig. 1. Description of a propagation scheme for the production of baker’s yeast (adapted from Randez-Gil et al. (48) and industrial data)
Yeast cells are grown in a series of fermentation bio
reactors, which are operated under aerobic conditions to
promote yeast growth. Initially, cells from a pure yeast
culture are grown on a suitably adjusted mixture of mo
lasses in the laboratory and the produced biomass is trans
ferred aseptically into one or more bioreactors, which
operate in batch mode without air supply. The next bio
reactor usually operates in fed batch mode with air sup
ply, and the produced biomass is used to pitch the stock
bioreactor. The biomass produced in this bioreactor is
harvested by centrifugation and used in the next stage,
the pitch fermentation. Both these stages operate in fed
batch mode with vigorous aeration and incremental ad
dition of nutrients. The biomass produced in the pitch
bioreactor is used to pitch the final trade fermentations.
At the end of the process the content in the trade bio
reactors is aerated for an additional time period, and this
is the maturation stage. The amount of yeast biomass
produced increases from stage to stage, and the sequence
and the number of fermentation stages vary among ma
nufacturers. Food grade yeast biomass can also be pro
duced as by-product of industrial ethanol production on
molasses (e.g. Vogelbusch technology) (49).
Treatments and packaging
The yeast in the final trade bioreactor is concentrat
ed by centrifugation and finally harvested by a filter press
or a rotary vacuum filter, until it contains 27–33 % of dry
cell mass. The yeast cake is blended with suitable amounts
of water and emulsifiers and cutting oils (soybean or cot
tonseed oil) to obtain its extrudable form. The yeast is
then packaged and shipped as compressed fresh baker’s
yeast, or thermolysed and dried to form various types
of dry yeast. The dried yeast is packed under vacuum
or nitrogen atmosphere. The packaging method varies
among manufacturers and depends on the type of yeast
Recent advances and research
Various by-products of the food industry and agri
culture have been proposed for the production of food
grade yeast biomass. Some of these efforts are summa
rized in Table 1 (50–77). Species of Candida, Saccharomyces,
Kluyveromyces, Pichia, Rhodotorula, etc., alone or in mixed
cultures with other yeasts, have been grown on vegeta
A. BEKATOROU et al.: Food Grade Yeasts, Food Technol. Biotechnol. 44 (3) 407–415 (2006)
Table 1. Production of yeasts using alternative, low cost waste by-products of the food and agricultural industries
Microorganism Raw material Ref.
Rhodotorula rubra, Candida tropicalis, C. utilis, C. boidinii,
Trichosporon cutaneum
salad oil manufacturing wastewater (50)
Candida arborea rice straw hydrolysate (51)
Candida halophila, Rhodotorula glutinis glutamate fermentation wastewater (52)
Saccharomyces cerevisiae extracts of cabbage, watermelon, green salads and tropical fruits (53)
Candida utilis defatted rice polishings (54)
Candida versatilis, Kluyveromyces lactis, Kluyveromyces
whey (55)
Candida utilis, Pichia stipitis, Kluyveromyces marxianus,
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
waste chinese cabbage (56)
Candida utilis apple pomace (57)
Saccharomyces cerevisiae virgin grape marc (58)
Saccharomyces sp., Pichia sp., Rhodotorula sp., Candida sp.,
Kluyveromyces sp. and Trichospora sp.
lettuce brine (59)
Candida langeronii cane bagasse hemicellulosic hydrolyzate (60)
Torulopsis cremoris, Candida utilis, Kluyveromyces fragilis whey (61)
Pichia guilliermondii waste brine from kimchi production (62)
Geotrichum candidum orange peel (63)
Candida, Rhodotorula, Leucosporidium prawn shell waste (64)
Hansenula sp. sugar beet stillage (65)
Candida utilis pineapple cannery effluent (66)
Saccharomyces cerevisiae waste date products (67)
Saccharomyces cerevisiae hydrolyzed waste cassava (68)
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Torula utilis, Candida lipolytica deproteinized leaf juices of turnip, mustard, radish and cauliflower (69)
Saccharomyces cerevisiae shrimp shell waste (70)
Candida krusei, Saccharomyces sp. sorghum hydrolysate (71)
Candida rugosa sugar beet stillage (72)
Kluyveromyces fragilis cheese whey (73)
Cellulomonas flavigena, Xanthomonas sp. sugarcane bagasse pith (74)
Candida spp. (utilis, tropicalis, parapsilosis and solani) molasses and sugar beet pulp (75)
Kluyveromyces, Candida, Schizosaccharomyces sp. jerusalem artichoke (76)
Pichia pinus mango waste or methanol (77)
ble processing wastewaters, hydrolysates and pulps
(rice, cabbage, apple, lettuce, pineapple, radish, cauliflow
er, turnip, sorghum, etc.), on dairy wastes (whey), sugar
and ethanol industry by-products (molasses, vinasse, stil
lages, bagasses, sugar beet pulps), fishery by-products
(prawn-shell waste), etc. The need to design feasible and
financially viable processes and the utilization of low cost
industrial wastes as raw materials for edible yeast biomass
production is extremely important, as it gives a solution
to the management of these wastes and the environmen
tal pollution caused by their disposal. Moreover, apart
from providing alternative sources of food for humans
or animals and reducing pollution, food grade yeast pro
duction using waste materials is attractive to manufac
turers as it leads to increased profits from the use of low
cost raw materials, production of added value and re
duction of waste treatment costs.
Today, modern techniques like DNA recombination,
induced mutations, and selection methodologies can also
be employed to obtain new specialized yeast strains with
improved properties, according to the manufacturer’s de
mands for fermentation efficiency and productivity (48,
78–80). For example, the modern baking industry demands
the production of more stable yeast strains, tolerant of
pH and temperature variations and high osmotic pres
sures. Especially, probiotic yeasts must be able to sur-
vive food production conditions, the presence of antimi-
crobial agents and storage.
Industrial strains should be improved to face prob-
lems related to glucose repression when mixed carbohy-
drate substrates are used, to avoid the production of un-
desirable by-products like ethanol and glycerol under
aerobic conditions (10). Genetic engineering has made pos-
sible the creation of such yeast strains, with new or en-
hanced enzymatic properties for maximum utilization of
various problematic raw materials, like cheese whey,
starch, sugar cane bagasses, lignocellulosic materials,
etc., for bioremediation purposes and optimum biomass
yields. Finally, strains have been constructed to increase
the nutritional value of foods, such as, for example, ami
no acid overproducing baker’s yeast for more nutritious
bread (42). Therefore, genetic engineering can lead to the
reduction of yeast production costs by increasing the avail
ability of the raw material, and avoiding the traditional
chemical reatment methods for their conversion. In the
frame of these efforts, new rapid methods for DNA ana
lysis have been introduced for the identification of speci
fic industrial yeast strains, and novel aerobic bioreactor
designs have been proposed to enable optimum produc
tion of yeast biomass, maximum utilization of the raw
material, reduction of cost and simultaneous reduction
of environmental pollution. Nevertheless, despite the tre
mendous progress in the genetic engineering of yeasts
achieved at the end of the 20th century (establishment
of genetic transformation of yeast in 1978 and determi
nation of the complete genome sequence in 1996), the
genetically modified (GM) yeasts have not yet been used
commercially. Only two GM yeast strains have been offi
cially approved for commercial use in 1990 (baker’s yeast)
and 1994 (brewer’s yeast), but none has been used com
mercially (81).
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Proizvodnja prehrambenih kvasaca
Kvasci su poznati čovjeku već tisućama godina jer se koriste u tradicionalnim
fermentacijskim procesima dobivanja vina, piva i kruha. Danas se oni koriste i kao
alternativni izvori visokovrijednih proteina, enzima i vitamina, imaju brojnu primjenu u
proizvodnji zdravstveno korisne hrane kao aditivi, regulatori i sastojci arome, u proizvodnji
mikrobioloških podloga i ekstrakata, te kao krmivo. Suvremena znanstvena dostignuća
omogućuju izolaciju, izradu i industrijsku proizvodnju novih sojeva kvasaca koji ispunjavaju
posebne zahtjeve prehrambene industrije. U radu su istaknuti tipovi industrijskih
prehrambenih kvasaca, procesi njihove proizvodnje i sirovine. Također se raspravlja o
metabolizmu kvasca, s obzirom na utrošak ugljikohidrata, hranjiva te nova dostignuća u
njihovu istraživanju.
... During World War I, German scientists implemented cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for SCP production which were consumed in soups and sausages. This group has also established the culture of Candida aroborea and Candida utilis during World War II as an alternative to foods [26]. Many strains such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae with particular characteristics are used to fulfil the objectives of baking and fermentation industries [26]. ...
... This group has also established the culture of Candida aroborea and Candida utilis during World War II as an alternative to foods [26]. Many strains such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae with particular characteristics are used to fulfil the objectives of baking and fermentation industries [26]. ...
... It is known as good carbon source for SCP production [43]. Indeed, its availability, low cost, composition and also absence of toxins and impurities that can affect the SCP acceptability, make it very attractive [26]. In addition, molasses don't need a pretreatment before their utilization [44]. ...
Due to the fast increase in world population, many developing countries are facing malnutrition problems (famine, food insecurity, etc.). Particularly, the deficiency of protein sources is becoming a serious problem for both human and animals’ nutrition. Thus, the demand for protein sources has increased. In this context, Single Cell Proteins (SCP) produced by microorganisms could be exploited as an alternative and non-conventional protein source. The aim of this work was to study growth dynamics and SCP production and composition by Cupriavidus necator, under various environmental conditions stress and using different carbon (glucose, formic acid and oleic acid) and nitrogen (ammonium sulfate and urea) sources types. A mono-factorial approach under well-controlled conditions was used in order to investigate the impact of temperature, pH, carbon and nitrogen sources in bioreactor cultures. Results were compared in terms of bacterial growth, biomass composition (proteins and nucleic acids) and via the elemental biomass composition. Complementary analyses were also done using flow cytometry in order to study cell morphology, membrane permeability and presence of PHB production, a biopolymer naturally produced by C. necator. The temperature evaluation results showed that this parameter had an impact on growth and SCP production and composition. At 40°C, the growth was lower and low amounts of proteins, and nucleic acids were obtained. The same conclusion was obtained at pH5. Regarding the nitrogen source, the ammonium sulfate provided better results than urea as a nitrogen source. Added to that, the formic acid was found as a promising carbon source for protein production compared to glucose and oleic acid with a high total protein percentage of 90%DW (obtained with the Dumas’s method).
... The large-scale production of yeast for nutritional uses was experienced in Germany during both world wars. Eventually, about 16,000 tons of Candida utilis was incorporated in to human food per year during the Second World War by Germans (Bhattacharjee,1970). Single cell protein from yeasts is also used as a protein supplement of fodder mixtures in the nutrition of domestic animals (Bekatorou et al., 2006). ...
... These are conventional materials like starch, molasses, distiller's wash, whey, fruit and vegetable wastes, wood, straw, etc., and unconventional ones like petroleum by-products, natural gas, ethanol and methanol (Jay, 1996). After fermentation, the yeast biomass is harvested and may be subjected to downstream processing steps, like washing to remove the impurities, cell disruption, protein extraction and purification to extract enzymes, molecules like RNA,DNA,B vitamins etc., (Bekatorou et al., 2006). ...
... The significance of yeasts in food technology in a world of low agricultural production and rapidly increasing population makes the production of food grade yeasts extremely important (Bekatorou et al., 2006). In view of the fact that a large part of the earth's population is malnourished, due to poverty and inadequate of food, scientists are concerned whether the food supply can keep up with the world population increase (Zheng, et al., 2005). ...
... It can be produced by several microorganisms by the utilization of liberated carbon as energy source for their growth and development. Maltose is another carbon source transported into the cell by maltose permease, transformed into two molecules of glucose by mannase, and digested by the enzyme xylanase [12]. For example, like sucrose, maltose and galactose were not metabolized in the presence of glucose [13]. ...
... For example, like sucrose, maltose and galactose were not metabolized in the presence of glucose [13]. Biopolymers such as pentoses, alcohols, polyols, hydrocarbons, fatty acids and organic acids are consumed by yeast as carbon source [12]. According to the updated classification of immobilization processes, alginates, polyacrylamide gels, agarose and agar-agar, as well as mixtures of different materials, have been tested as potential immobilization materials [14]. ...
Full-text available
The speedy growth of human population, the issues arising out of pollution, demand of invertase yield and dumping of wastes from agro-industry have been influenced to find new solutions for microbial enzymes. In this study, an attempt was made to produce the invertase by yeast isolated from honey bees. Influence of various process parameters like nutritional sources and environmental conditions was studied using waste material. The enzyme was precipitated by using the acetone to get the product for further experimental analysis. Subsequently, it was carried out for further purification by Sephadex G-50 column chromatography and dialysed. At that moment, optimization of culture conditions for the yield of invertase with agro waste was determined by process parameters. It was followed by the immobilization of microbial cells for increasing the yield of invertase by various matrices. In order to check the bioactive potential of invertase, the bread was prepared with and without the amendment of enzyme. The existing result could be supportive to future researchers for industrial applications of microbial invertase by immobilization approach.
... Yeasts have played an essential role in the human diet for millennia (Bekatorou et al., 2006;Gómez-Pastor et al., 2011;Steensels and Verstrepen, 2014). They are used in brewing, bread-making, winemaking, and producing many other fermented foods worldwide (Bekatorou et al., 2006;Carrau et al., 2015). ...
... Yeasts have played an essential role in the human diet for millennia (Bekatorou et al., 2006;Gómez-Pastor et al., 2011;Steensels and Verstrepen, 2014). They are used in brewing, bread-making, winemaking, and producing many other fermented foods worldwide (Bekatorou et al., 2006;Carrau et al., 2015). Nowadays, advances in genetic engineering (recombinant protein) have made it possible to extend their application in many fields such as the environment, the food industry, and health (Feldmann, 2012;Fallah et al., 2016;de Souza Varize et al., 2019). ...
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Rabilé" is a popular traditional ferment in Burkina Faso, consisting mainly of yeasts. It is used as a food supplement or additive like Single Cell Protein (SCP). The present work focused on identifying yeast microbiota in local food, and studying their growth kinetic parameters. "Rabilé" sampling from the 13 regions of Burkina Faso was used to isolate yeast strains. Molecular methods, including PCR-RFLP, Sanger Sequencing, and Single Locus Analysis, were applied for strain identification. The kinetic parameters were determined in batch culture. The results show 390 isolates belonging to 12 species with a predominance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, followed by Cutaneotrichosporon curvatus. Among the selected strains, S. cerevisiae OG22 and Kluyveromyces marxianus KY01 showed the highest maximum growth rate (0.566 and 0.568 h-1) concerning kinetic parameters. These results demonstrate that "Rabilé" is an important biotope of yeast strains, and could be a potential food supplement.
... Yeasts have a positive image with consumers, as they are considered a safe source of ingredients and additives for food processing (Boze et al., 1992;Bekatorou et al., 2006;Tsunatu et al., 2017). Preparations of baker's and brewer's yeasts have been available for many years as dietary, nutrient supplements because of their high contents of B vitamins, proteins, peptides, amino acids and trace minerals. ...
... Furthermore, the use of fruit peel for the production of SCP is determined by its availability and low cost, composition, and absence of toxic substances and fermentation inhibitors [35]. For instance, citrus peels, such as orange peels, are rich in essential oils and limonene, a predominant component with antimicrobial property, which hinders the digestion process of microbes or fermentation process, thus resulting in less biomass production. ...
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The single cell protein (SCP) technique has become a popular technology in recent days, which addresses two major issues: increasing world protein deficiency with increasing world population and the generation of substantial industrial wastes with an increased production rate. Global fruit production has increased over the decades. The non-edible parts of fruits are discarded as wastes into the environment, which may result in severe environmental issues. These fruit wastes are rich in fermentable sugars and other essential nutrients, which can be effectively utilized by microorganisms as an energy source to produce microbial protein. Taking this into consideration, this review explores the use of fruit wastes as a substrate for SCP production. Many studies reported that the wastes from various fruits such as orange, sweet orange, mango, banana, pomegranate, pineapple, grapes, watermelon, papaya, and many others are potential substrates for SCP production. These SCPs can be used as a protein supplement in human foods or animal feeds. This paper discusses various aspects in regard to the potential of fruit wastes as a substrate for SCP production.
... However, the discrepancies in the observed results might be attributable to the composition of the product derived from, among other things, the production process. Sun et al. [91] investigated the effect of YCs obtained by different fermentation times (12,24,36,48, or 60 h), reporting improved performances in broilers fed YC fermented for 12 and 24 h, whereas poor performances were associated with YC fermented for 48 and 60 h. As highlighted by the metabolomic analysis, YCs produced with different fermentation times contain different metabolites, which thus results in different effects. ...
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Yeasts are single-cell eukaryotic microorganisms that are largely employed in animal nutrition for their beneficial effects, which are owed to their cellular components and bioactive compounds, among which are mannans, β-glucans, nucleotides, mannan oligosaccharides, and others. While the employment of live yeast cells as probiotics in poultry nutrition has already been largely reviewed, less information is available on yeast-derived products, such as hydrolyzed yeast (HY) and yeast culture (YC). The aim of this review is to provide the reader with an overview of the available body of literature on HY and YC and their effects on poultry. A brief description of the main components of the yeast cell that is considered to be responsible for the beneficial effects on animals’ health is also provided. HY and YC appear to have beneficial effects on the poultry growth and production performance, as well as on the immune response and gut health. Most of the beneficial effects of HY and YC have been attributed to their ability to modulate the gut microbiota, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria and reducing pathogen colonization. However, there are still many areas to be investigated to better understand and disentangle the effects and mechanisms of action of HY and YC.
... Depending on the extraction method, plant species and plant age, molasses usually contain about 45 60% fermentable carbohydrates, 10% nitrogen compounds, 20% fat and 10% minerals (Kinney, 2003;Gao et al., 2012). The use of molasses in SCP production is determined by its availability, price, composition, and whether it contains impurities of fermentation inhibitors and toxic compounds that could be transferred from culture medium to the final SCP product (Bekatorou et al., 2006;Aggelopoulos et al., 2014). ...
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Agricultural waste constitutes for most of the manmade waste streams. Processing of biodegradable waste materials ensures the treatment of harmful substances and allows to reduce environmental pollution. In addition, conversion of these waste materials in value-added products makes these recycling methods more economically viable. Single-cell protein is one of the value-added products that can be produced by microbial fermentation of waste materials. In this review various biodegradable agricultural by-products as substrates for production of SCP are categorized and compared.
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The use of yeast as a protein source was investigated in broiler chicken diets on carcass quality, storage stability, and metabolite changes in leg meat. Male Ross 308 chickens (n = 100) were fed with one of five diets: control (C), control added 0.6% formic acid (CA), or three diets where soybean meal was substituted with 10, 20, and 30% crude protein from inactivated yeast Cyberlindnera jadinii (CJ10, CJ20, CJ30, respectively). The yeast-containing diets reduced carcass weight, linoleic acid, and warm-over flavor in chicken leg meat. Protein degradation-related metabolite biomarkers were upregulated in the leg of chickens that were fed yeast-containing diets, indicating an adaptive response to the loss of appetite. Chill-stored leg meat of birds fed yeast diets showed increased browning and metallic taste compared with those fed the control diet. The use of formic acid in the diet reduced cooking loss and had a positive effect on vitamin B content.
In this study, soil and corn samples of distinct areas were used to isolate strains of A. niger and yeast and variable colony counts per area were studied for starch saccharification and ethanol fermentation. Highest (57%) starch saccharification was from the A. niger isolated from the soil sample of Rabi, whereas Mardan Motorway Interchange was less productive in starch saccharification. The corn sample of Takhtbhai was highest (55%) in starch saccharification, in comparison to Malakhandher. Similarly, yeast strains from the soil samples of Jhandu and corn samples of Jalala produced higher ethanol distillate (29 and 19 mL) compared to the yeast cultures isolated from other areas. Corn and soil samples of Malakandher and Jalala attained highest bioethanol recovery per 100 mL of distillate, respectively. Distinct strains of A. niger and yeast present in different areas showed great diversity in saccharification and fermentation, which might be due to variations in microbial strains and the environment around them. The best of A. niger and yeast strains could be used in bioethanol and other industries as a raw material.
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In this study fungi isolated from the effluent of ethanol factories were identified. Optimal conditions for single cell protein (SCP) production and COD reduction of sugar beet stillage are specified for a species of Hansenula in a continuous culture. Under these conditions 5.7 g dm-3 biomass was produced and 31% of COD was reduced without addition of further nutrients to the beet molasses stillage. Adding nitrogen and phosphorus sources, increased the biomass production and COD reduction to 8.5 g dm-3 and 35.7%, respectively. The crude protein content of SCP in the absence and presence of additives was 39.6% and to 50.6% respectively. The amounts of essential amino acids measured were greater than that of the FAO standards reference and are comparable with some other food proteins, such as soya bean and fish meal.
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This work was an approach to waste date products valorization through biomass production with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The carbon and nitrogen sources of a semi-synthetic fermentation medium were substituted by date-coat (fleshy part) sugar extract, date-seed hydrolysate, and ammonium nitrate. This modified medium was enriched with date-seed ash and date-seed lipid. Date-coat sugar extract as a carbon source was found to be satisfactory at a concentration of 25 g/l (expressed as its glucose concentration) and date-seed hydrolysate as a nitrogen source was equally suitable at 25 g/l. The addition to the medium of 1·0 g/l ammonium nitrate increased the efficiency of yeast biomass formation, as did phosphorus, which produced a maximum when the medium was supplemented with about 6·0 g/l KH2PO4. The presence of 1 g/l date-seed lipid in the medium also increased the efficiency of biomass formation. Finally, the addition of date-seed ash (0·6 g/l), as a mineral source, to the fermentation medium could substitute for MgSO4 and CaCl2 of the semi-synthetic medium.
The development of the production of torula yeast (Candida utilis) in Cuba at large scale is analyzed since 1964 up to the present with the first plant built in the country. This yeast is obtained from final molasses as energy source. The results of its composition and richness especially in respect to amino acids and B-complex vitamins are presented. The principal values of the productive performance are offered in the different swine categories by substituting soybean meal as protein source and also the production cost of torula yeast has been analyzed and compared to soybean. This was determined mainly by final molasses inverted and the energy expenses to produce a ton of dry yeast. Finally, the latest alternatives for producing torula from stillage sludge generated daily in large amounts are analyzed. The stillage sludge constitutes an environmental pollutant of great importance and demands necessarily of some treatment. The need for reinitiating research on animals is stated, as well as that for measuring the technical, economical and environmental impact of this new form of producing torula yeast.
This paper briefly describes the largest ethanol production plant in the Jilin Province, China opened in November 03. The plant has the capacity to process 2.3 million litres/day fuel ethanol. The process technology supplied by Vogelbusch is described and discussed.
Jerusalem artichoke has one of the highest carbohydrate yields of the known agricultural crops and has many distinct advantages over traditional crops. This brief review presents data on the yield and composition of Jerusalem artichoke, techniques of carbohydrate extraction and its utilization for the production of ethanol, single cell protein (SCP), and high-fructose syrup, along with economic considerations.
Leaf protein was separated by heat coagulation (80°C) from leaf juices of four cruciferous plants: turnip (Brassica campestris L.), mustard (Brassica nigra Koch.), radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis). Three yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Torula utilis and Candida lipolytica, were grown in deproteinized leaf juices (DLJ) of these plants. The yeast cells produced in these wheys were found to be rich in protein and vitamins. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biological oxygen demand (BOD) values of DLJ samples were reduced significantly by the growth of yeasts.
Marine yeasts (33 strains) were isolated from the coastal and offshore waters off Cochin. The isolates were identified and then characterized for the utilization of starch, gelatin, lipid, cellulose, urea, pectin, lignin, chitin and prawn-shell waste. Most of the isolates were Candida species. Based on the biochemical characterization, four potential strains were selected and their optimum pH and NaCl concentration for growth were determined. These strains were then inoculated into prawn-shell waste and SCP (single cell protein) generation was noted in terms of the increase in protein content of the final product.
The acceptance of torula yeast grown on ethanol was evaluated by incorporation into familiar foods. Three preparations of torula yeast were used : Spray‐dried torula yeast (primary yeast), water‐washed torula yeast, and torula yeast treated to reduce the nucleic acid content. Control diets contained either soy flour or potato flour. These materials (20 ± 2 g) were incorporated into a midday meal and served to young adults (110 males, 85 females) five days per week for a three‐week period. Effects of the test meals were monitored by analysis of uric acid levels in blood and urine and by questionnaire. Subjectively, there were no major differences in the acceptance of test meals. Severe symptoms previously associated with ingestion of torula yeast were not found. Subjects in all test groups, whether consuming yeast, soy or potato, reported minor symptoms; but the incidence and severity did not change during the test period. Uric acid analysis indicated a slight increase in serum uric acid levels in those subjects consuming the primary or water‐washed yeast. The increase occurred during the first week of the study and the levels stabilized during the remainder of the study. Thus, torula yeast was an acceptable food supplement in this trial.
Thermotolerant yeast Candida rugosa isolated from East Africa was used for the continuous production of yeast protein from sugar beet stillages at 40°C. At a dilution rate of 0·15 h−1, biomass productivity was at a maximum (0·85 dm−3 h−1) and the Chemical Oxygen Demand reduction rate of the stillage was 30·4%. This yeast contained 45·1% crude protein, 36·5% actual protein and 5·6% RNA. The yeast protein had adequate essential amino acids, except for sulphur-containing types.
Distillers' yeasts, strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, although capable of sexual reproduction, in distillery practice reproduce asexually, by budding. A cell may bring forth another one in 50 min. With every ounce of whiskey produced, 30 billion new cells come to existence. Within a few days, in 4–8 propagation stages, a test tube full of culture will populate 100,000 gallons beer with 150 million cells per ml. Rate of reproduction, the number of new cells per each original cell varies from 5 to 50 in the various propagation stages. The number of new cells produced in a given nutrient is independent from the number of initial cells; and the utilization of the nutrient increases with the dilution of the substrate. Although distillers' yeasts may reproduce at such extremes as 1–46°C, 2½–10½ pH, presence of 0–15% alcohol by volume, and 0.1–25% sugar content, in distillery practice the factors are so selected to maintain conditions close to the optimum. When placed in the nutrient the initial cells will measure the chemical and physical characteristics of the new living space and the cell population, and will prepare a design of reproduction best suited to the conditions. The design includes a symmetry in the grouping of the cells and a rhythmic timing in starting new buds. Each healthy cells is biologically equal to the others and is capable of performing all functions characteristic of the strain. In spite of the sensitive coordination system between the individual cells that regulates their activity, marked differences exist among the cells to the degree of cell individuality. Distillers yeasts are superbly equipped to live and reproduce.