Yeast biomass, an optimised product with myriad applications in the food industry

Roberto Pérez-Torrado, Esther Gamero, Rocío Gómez-Pastor, Elena Garre, Agustín Aranda, Emilia Matallana

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: Yeasts, especially Saccharomyces cerevisiae and related species, have been used by humans since ancient times. In past centuries, the increased demand in yeast-related products has converted yeast biomass into a valuable product, and has forced the generation and optimisation of industrial yeast biomass production processes, which currently generate vast quantities of yeasts yearly. Scope and approach: In this article, we review key aspects for the yield first produced empirically, but by also using recent yeast physiology knowledge. We summarise the classical and latest yeasts biomass applications in the food industry, which range from the yeast extract used as an additive in many commercially prepared foods, to the nutritional yeast supplement used to complement diets. Finally, we present advanced molecular studies that have revealed the strong impact of the cellular stress suffered during the industrial production process on yeast biomass yield and fermentative efficiency. Key findings and conclusions: The large number of applications enhances the importance and demand of this industrial product and the relevance of its production in a sustainable way. The new findings at molecular level will permit new designs and strategies to enhance quality and quantity of commercial products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by grants AGL 2008-00060 and AGL2011-24353 from the Spanish Government to EM.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Commercial application
  • Fed-batch
  • Food industry
  • Industrial starters
  • Molecular approach
  • Yeast biomass


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