Yeast extract is a thick salty paste used as a flavor enhancer in processed foods. If you see this ingredient on the label of the food you are considering buying, you need to check and see, Is Yeast Extract Gluten Free.
What Is Yeast Extract?
Yeast extract is an additive on ingredient labels in processed foods. It is a flavoring agent made by growing yeast and then breaking it down with enzymes. This process is known as autolysis.
The resulting paste is salty and is said to bring a lot of flavor to foods. Umami is an example, as is the Australian Marmite paste. It is rich in protein and vitamin B.
I have often seen this ingredient on the labels of foods, including potato chips and soups. It is an ingredient that can be challenging to decipher whether it is safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
You can also see what meal ingredients are gluten free.
Answer: Is Yeast Extract Gluten Free?
Unfortunately, most yeast extract is not gluten free. This type of yeast is typically made with spent brewer's yeast, which is a by-product of brewing. There is a very high chance yeast extract contains barley or wheat.
Yeast extract is one of the examples of what I call hidden gluten or a "red flag" ingredient. If you see this ingredient listed on the ingredients label, see if the food is gluten free. You do not want to buy that product if no allergen statement claims the product is gluten-free or a gluten-free certification label.
Occasionally, yeast extract is grown on another medium, like beets. If this is the case, the ingredients label should indicate this information. If you are celiac or gluten-sensitive, you need to know the source to determine if the product is gluten free. When in doubt, I recommend not buying the product or reaching out to the manufacturer to verify.
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