Nutritional yeasts can be used as condiments and supplements. They are rich in the B vitamin complex. The yellowish colour of the yeast comes from the concentration of the B vitamin riboflavin. Some nutritional yeasts contain high quality protein with both essential and non essential amino acids, as well as the vitamins and minerals: niacin, thiamin, biotin, and folic acid.
Two teaspoons of yeast flakes provide one microgram of vitamin B12, the recommended daily intake for a non-pregnant adult (World Health Organization). Due to our busy life styles, I find myself sprinkling it on my cereal, spaghetti, popcorn, and smoothies. Kept in a cool dry place, it can last for a year.
Red Star nutritional yeast is grown on mixtures of beet and sugar cane molasses. After it is grown, and the fermentation process is complete, the yeast is harvested, washed, pasteurized, and dried at a high temperature (removes leavening ability). As a result, this yeast is guaranteed to be Candida Albicans negative. Because it is grown on a molasses base, it contains no gluten. It is very easy to digest. This particular yeast has a delicious flavour (no bitterness) and its nutty roasted taste lends itself to many cuisines. It is also a source of vitamin B12 that is not from a synthetic process or animal source.
Brewer’s yeast is a by-product of the brewing process. It is grown on hops, grain and malt and develops a bitter flavour. It is then processed to remove any bitterness which affects and lowers the nutritional quality. This type of yeast does not always contain vitamin B12. You need to check the label. Sold in tablet or powdered form, it is stirred and blended into beverages or sprinkled into cereals.
Torula yeast is grown on waste sulfite liquid from wood pulp. The methods used to grow these yeasts are not listed on the package labels. Despite its range of B vitamins, minerals, and proteins consumer groups have questioned the safety of its growing methods.
When purchasing nutritional yeasts the best types are those produced as a food supplement. This kind is grown on molasses or sugar beets, is pleasant tasting and does not require further processing.