Dried yeast grows as a salt-reducing ingredient

Reducing salt content in food products is a growing issue for food manufacturers as government regulators and consumers become more concerned about sodium intake and the possible negative effect on health. Naturex, leading global natural ingredients supplier, has a range of inactive dried yeast products that offer several flavour-related benefits to the food manufacturer.

“Dried yeast is proving to be an effective savoury flavour enhancer and is widely used in snacks and seasonings, particularly among producers who are making an effort to increase the natural ingredient content of their food products,” says Sharon Bolel of Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing, a division of CJP Chemicals and the sole distributor of Naturex products in South Africa.

Naturex has used the flavour-enhancing abilities of dried yeasts to provide a solution to reducing the salt content in food products while also enabling the enhancing of savoury flavours naturally without the use of products such as monosodium glutamate.

The Naturex dried yeast products include a blend of brewer’s and baker’s yeast; kluyveromyces fragilis from wood sugars; a blend of molasses and brewer’s yeasts; a blend of molasses and yeast from wood sugars; and Yesto-Sel products. Naturex’s blending expertise has enabled the company to offer a range of dried yeast products with flavour notes from mild to sweet, nutty, and savoury.

“The main benefits of dried yeast products are their nutritional value, flavour profile, and use as a bulking and filling agent,” adds Bolel.

Yeast is one of the most concentrated natural sources of high grade protein that contains the essential amino acids, as well as vitamins and minerals essential to health. It is a rich source of the water-soluble B group vitamins and typically contains 12 minerals, all of which are required by the body in trace amounts as key constituents of metabolism, including calcium, potassium and phosphorous.

Selenium is another benefit of the Naturex dried yeast products. “Selenium is a mineral that’s essential for human metabolism in small amounts, but which the body doesn’t manufacture on its own. This means we have to obtain our selenium from our diet. In days gone by, the natural intake of selenium was no doubt higher as people ate more oily fish, liver, and oatmeal than they do today.”

Bolel adds that the result of this change is that over the past 25 years, the average daily selenium intake has dropped by about 50% from 60µg/day. In the UK, the government has established a Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) level for selenium at 75µ/day. This indicates a nutritional gap between the recommended intake and what is happening in homes around the country.

The features of Naturex’s Yesto-Sel 1000 and 2000 products include the availability of 1000ppm and 2000ppm selenium respectively, standardised to ensure consistent quality.

“Yesto-Sel products have also been analysed by an independent laboratory and have been confirmed as containing more than 98% ‘organically’ bound selenium in the form of selenomethionine – which is viewed as the most bio-available form of selenium,” adds Bolel. Yesto-Sel also retains the high grade nutritional properties associated with Brewer’s Yeast.

Selenium is increasing in popularity as a functional ingredient that has an important role to play in helping to maintain good health, but also in contributing to the prevention of today’s ‘modern diseases.’

Says Bolel: “Selenium is an antioxidant nutrient which can prevent the action of free radicals, which are of course seen to be the causative agents behind diseases such as premature ageing, cancer, and even atherosclerosis. Trials have seen selenium playing a role in combating oxidative diseases, enhancing the immune response, increasing male fertility, improving mood scores and reducing pain and stiffness in arthritis sufferers.”

The bottom line is that dried yeast is a natural provider of nutritional elements while also improving the health profile of a food product by reducing salt content and enhancing flavour – naturally, she concludes.

Sharon Bolel Chemical Marketing: