Yeast is commonly used in food production and brewing and has been in use since ancient times. But, is yeast gluten free?
There are various types of yeasts you’ll find in the market, with some of them being gluten free while others aren’t. This means that yeast isn’t entirely gluten free, rather it depends on the type of yeast you’re using. Also, the manufacturing process might contaminate yeast and add gluten.
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Is Yeast Gluten Free?
So, is yeast gluten free? Yeast is a common ingredient that has been used for food production and brewing for a long time, and the baker’s yeast is widely used. This is one of the oldest microorganisms known to civilization.
The watershed moment in the history of yeast was the work of Louis Pastuer who discovered the use of yeast in fermentation, a practice that has survived till today.
When you hear of yeast, you probably think of bread and alcoholic drinks, right? This is the ingredient used for dough rising and the fermentation of beer. Whereas many think that there is one type of yeast, it will interest you to know that there are different forms or types of yeasts.
An important question that lingers in the mind of many people is whether yeast is gluten free? Especially for people who are gluten sensitive, knowing whether yeast is gluten free is of great interest. Well, the answer is that it depends.
Most types of yeast are gluten free. For example, active dry yeast is a yeast gluten free product. Similarly, yeast extract gluten free is a gluten free product. Most likely, your nearest store will have gluten free yeast and you will not have a difficult time accessing it.
However, there are others that are not gluten free and should be avoided by people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. So, if you’re looking for gluten free yeast, you should make sure that you’re using the right one.
Another factor to put in mind is that the manufacturing process can also expose yeast to gluten. There can be contamination during the process where gluten material finds its way into yeast, thus making it not gluten free.
Unfortunately, the consumer may not be aware that a certain product has been contaminated with gluten in a product life cycle. Thus, this will require due diligence on the part of the consumer.
Can A Person With Celiac Disease Eat Yeast?
Having celiac disease means that you must adopt a gluten free diet in order to manage symptoms that come with the consumption of gluten and avoid foods made with wheat flour.
For example, you must make an effort to be taking gluten free bread and consumer goods which are labeled gluten free. If celiac disease is not well-managed, it can be a stubborn medical condition and will keep on recurring.
A person with celiac disease cannot eat any type of yeast. Since there are types of yeast that are gluten free while others are not, the only one that’s good for a person with celiac is the gluten free yeast.
For this reason, a person with celiac should buy yeast that’s certified as gluten free. Any other might bring complications to one’s health.
If one is not sure if a product is gluten free, the best thing is to ask. You can access this information by calling or writing to the manufacturers, or asking your doctor. What is important is to make an informed decision.
Types Of Gluten-Free Yeast
As you’ve already found out, yeast is a very important ingredient in food and beverage production. For people who prefer gluten free yeast, there are various types of yeast which are gluten free that you should think about.
Below is a breakdown of the main types of gluten-free yeast.
Yeast extract is one of the types of yeast you can opt for if you want to take a gluten free diet. Yeast extract is a popular ingredient in most of the packaged food items you come across.
It’s important to take note that there are different brands of yeast extract you’ll find in the market today. Some are gluten free, while others are not. So, the best thing is to confirm whether your preferred yeast extract is gluten free or not before you buy it.
Fresh Yeast is another type of yeast that is gluten free. This yeast is good for making bread and cakes. If you’re looking for gluten free yeast for your recipe, this is one you can consider.
Again, before you buy fresh yeast, it’s prudent to inquire whether there could be any case of cross contamination as this might lead to it containing some levels of gluten.
Dried Yeast is also another major type of yeast that is naturally gluten free. However, it’s imperative to note that some manufacturers add wheat starch or flour, thus making it unsuitable for a gluten free diet.
Instant yeast is directly added to the ingredients when you are preparing a recipe,and it is not first dissolved in water. This yeast is gluten free. Such nutritional yeast is very important in preparing food products and in the fermentation process.
If you peruse the market carefully, you will be able to identify nutritional yeast gluten free products.
Therefore, you should check the packaging information to ascertain that it is gluten free to avoid buying the wrong product, especially if you have a high level of sensitivity to gluten.
Why Should You Use Gluten-Free Yeast Extract?
There is a reason why yeast extract is a preferred ingredient by many. The benefit of using yeast extract is that it is good for boosting flavor. If you’re the person who likes adding rich flavors to your foods, you can consider using yeast extract. It will give you a quality outcome without disappointments.
Yeasts that Contain Gluten
Brewer’s yeast is not gluten free. Unless you see it specified on the label of the product, this is usually a gluten-containing yeast. In most cases, brewer’s yeast happens to be a by-product of the brewing process.
The barley used in the making of beer contributes to the gluten found in brewer’s yeast.
Autolyzed yeast extract is also not gluten free. If you want to use autolyzed yeast for your foods such as meat and soup, you should know that it’s not gluten free. The fact that autolyzed yeast comes from barley, it is obvious that it is not gluten free, thus it is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivity.
The autolyzed yeast extract is made from a variety of barley, by taking this diet, you are not taking a gluten free diet. Therefore, if you have celiac disease, taking autolyzed yeast extract is not advisable.
Brewer’s yeast is a common by-product in the process of making beer. Because barley is a major component in making beer, this product is not gluten free.
Closely connected to this is that the spent brewer’s yeast is also not gluten free. This is a byproduct of fermentation when making beer, and it simply becomes contaminated with gluten.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker