Yeast plays a key role in bakery production. It enhances a product’s texture, stability and appearance across applications including doughs, pastries and cakes.
Yeast protein has nutritional benefits, too. As an important microbial fermenting agent and biological loosening agent, yeast protein provides food products with a variety of minerals, vitamins and amino acids. And because it is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, it can be argued that it is the best substitute for plant and animal protein.
Yeast protein has the same protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) as dairy protein, and a higher score than that of plant protein.1 It also has a high content of dietary fibre and is a slow-digesting protein. All this aligns with a growing awareness of healthy eating, which continues to evolve as consumers seek food that is healthy, delicious and nutritious.
Yet consumers today demand more than nutrition; the movement around dietary ‘healthification’ has become a driver for products which are not only low-fat and high-protein, but also low-carbon, produced sustainably with the health of the planet in mind. As animal-sourced protein production continues to have a huge impact on the planet, yeast protein is an ever more viable and sustainable alternative.
This is particularly important when you consider the world’s population is forecast to increase by nearly two billion to 9.7 billion by 2050, a rise projected to put an ever increasing burden on dietary protein supply.2
This, combined with other factors, including environmental, climate, urbanisation and evolving dietary habits, is seeing manufacturers and consumers turn to more sustainable, alternative protein sources and yeast protein is an increasingly attractive proposition for future industries.
Yeast protein is produced from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer’s or baker’s yeast) through enzymatic hydrolysis and extraction. As well as being an innovative choice for protein supplementation that supports healthy eating, it has the environmental credentials to accelerate the shift to alternative proteins.
Yeast protein is a natural, clean label, vegan component in formulations. It is free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), pesticides, antibiotics and allergens, and is suitable for high-production efficiency at large scale. Compared with animal and plant-sourced, the required water consumption and farmland area for its production are significantly lower. Carbon emissions are only 20% of those from producing beef; and analysis has shown that substituting 20% of per-capita ruminant meat consumption with microbial protein globally by 2050 will halve associated emissions of carbon dioxide, reduce methane emissions and annual deforestation, and support more efficient food systems.3
Yeast protein production also aligns with China’s ‘dual carbon’ climate commitments announced in 2020.4
Enhancing baking with yeast protein
Against this backdrop of pressing environmental factors, and an ever-growing shift towards healthy eating, yeast protein, yeast polysaccharides and nutrient-rich yeast can help to shape and enhance the next generation of baking ingredients, thereby meeting consumers' pursuit of baked foods that are kind to both the body and the planet.
Thanks to its high-quality proteins, rich with amino acids, the stable structure of yeast protein makes it a particularly suitable component in baking. It is low-reactive and naturally free from gluten, legumes, and dairy.
Global yeast and yeast extract manufacturer Angel Yeast is committed to building a sustainable future that supports natural, nutritious and healthier diets. Its baking products include baker’s yeast, bread improver and premix, among others. Yeast protein provides high-quality proteins for baking products across a number of areas:
- Delivering a unique ‘baked’ flavour and colour to bread and biscuits
- Providing satiety after consumption
- Improving the production yield of bread for bakers and food manufacturers
Thanks to scientific advances in microbial fermentation and innovative nutritional enhancement in baking, Angel Yeast’s nutritional yeast solutions are continually evolving and upgrading to provide manufacturers and their customers with an increasing range of the nutritious and sustainable foods they expect. To further meet health-focussed needs, in May 2023 Angel Yeast launched a range of nutritional baking ingredients that are fully tailored to support manufacturers with their bespoke needs, in terms of flavours and nutrition.
A high-quality protein
AngeoPro® is a high-quality protein made from food-grade Saccharomyces cerevisiae through one or more processes such as enzymatic hydrolysis and extraction. Designed for use in food processing to enhance flavor and promote health functions, it is rich in essential amino acids, with a high content of branched-chain amino acids (22.3%) leucine, isoleucine and valine, and a high digestion and absorption rate.
These ‘slow release’ proteins can help promote the feeling of fullness, improve muscle performance and intestinal function, while offering manufacturers thermal stability and clean label opportunities, thanks to its low sodium content and non-GMO properties.
Applications in industry include high protein breads and cookies, where as well as improving the protein content, it can deliver flavor and color and promote satiety.
Application opportunities for manufacturers
AngeoPro® offers manufacturers benefits across a range of applications including:
High protein bread Used to enhance baking flavor and color in bread and cookies, it also improves the protein content of bread, and promotes satiety after eating. At the Exhibition, Angel launched a high protein mixed grain bread with 12 grams of protein per 100 grams of bread.
Healthy snacks As a complement to existing protein in formulations for high-protein cookies and muffins, it can diversify protein sources beyond grains, thereby improving protein content and protein absorption
Functional foods It can diversity protein sources in functional foods such as protein bars and protein powder. It can also be used to replace milk protein to reduce cost and enrich and align flavor and taste. Its high stability contributes to an extended shelf life.
Angel Nutritional Upgrade Derivative Products comprises of the following three solutions:
1. AngeoPro® Bread Rich in Yeast Protein
Angel launched an AngeoPro® mixed grain bread with 12 grams of protein per 100 grams of bread at Bakery China 2023.This yeast protein has stable structure, good heat resistance and acid-alkali properties, making it particularly suitable for baking. It offers manufacturers a quality, environmentally friendly choice for healthy breads that provide the body with necessary protein. Because the fermentation process is mature, the manufacturing efficiency of AngeoPro® is high, making it suitable for large-scale manufacturing.
The product is also suitable as a meal replacement choice for fitness enthusiasts who appreciate protein intake and exercise as important factors in determining muscle protein balance. And because the yeast protein is naturally free from gluten, soy, dairy, pesticide residues, antibiotics and hormones, it is a safe choice for those with allergies or who have sensitive dietary requirements.
2. Dietary Fibre Nutritional Bread Rich in Yeast Polysaccharides
Dietary fibre helps to keep the digestive system healthy, as well as helping to control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It also promotes satiety and makes us feel fuller for longer.
Yeast polysaccharide – a type of macromolecular carbohydrate polymer extracted from the cell wall of yeast – is rich in dietary fibre which helps maintain normal intestinal function. Adding 3-5% yeast polysaccharides will increase the dietary fibre content by 2g per 100g bread compared with ordinary bread.
3. Selenium-enriched Nutritional Bread with Selenium Yeast
Selenium is a trace element which is closely linked to human health. The essential dietary micronutrient can prevent and inhibit tumours, promote healthy ageing and maintain the normal functions of the cardiovascular system.
Selenium yeast is seen as the best source of organic selenium. The absorption and utilisation of organic selenium is much higher than inorganic selenium, and the toxicity of organic selenium is much lower. Analysis at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) of different batches of selenium yeast revealed no inorganic selenium in selenium yeast, and that the organic selenium mainly existed in the form of selenomethionine and selenocysteine. To achieve selenium yeast 1000ppm, the addition amount is 14-28mg/100g, resulting in 14-28μg of selenium per 100g bread.
As Angel Yeast continues to unlock opportunities for manufacturers across a range of food sectors, its actions continue to lower the environmental impact of yeast protein, making yeast protein an ever more attractive proposition. Baking manufacturers who partner with Angel Yeast will be better placed to support the necessary shift to more sustainable proteins and a healthier future.
1. Boirie, Y. et al. Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 94, 14930–14935 (1997).
2. United Nations: Population.
3. Humpenöder F.; Bodirsky BL.; Weindl I,; et al. Projected environmental benefits of replacing beef with microbial protein. Nature. 2022 May. 605(7908):90-96. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04629-w. Epub 2022 May 4. PMID: 35508780.
4. Carbon Brief.