Nutritional yeast flakes are deactivated yeast (single-cell fungi) that are first dried and then processed into small flakes. They are low in sodium and used in cooking as a seasoning; a binder for soups, salads, and sauces; and a topping for spicy dishes.
From Wikipedia: “Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is sold commercially as a food product. It is sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. It is popular with vegans and vegetarians and may be used as an ingredient in recipes or as a condiment.”
“Nutritional yeast is produced by culturing a yeast in a nutrient medium for several days. The primary ingredient in the "growing" medium is glucose, often from either sugarcane or beet molasses. When the yeast is ready, it is killed (deactivated) with heat and then harvested, washed, dried and packaged. The species of yeast used is often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The strains are cultured and selected for desirable characteristics and often exhibit a different phenotype from strains of S. cerevisiae used in baking and brewing.”
“Nutritional values for nutritional yeast vary from one manufacturer to another. On average, two tablespoons provides 60 calories with 5 g of carbohydrates (four grams of which is fiber). A serving also provides 9 g of protein and is a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. While fortified and unfortified nutritional yeast both provide iron, the fortified yeast provides 20 percent of the recommended daily value, while unfortified yeast provides only 5 percent. Unfortified nutritional yeast provides from 35 to 100 percent of vitamins B1 and B2.
Because nutritional yeast is often used by vegans, who need to supplement their diets with vitamin B12, there has been confusion about the source of the B12 in nutritional yeast. Yeast cannot produce B12, which is only naturally produced by bacteria. Some brands of nutritional yeast, though not all, are fortified with vitamin B12. When fortified, the vitamin B12 is produced separately (commonly cyanocobalamin) and then added to the yeast.
Although some species of bacteria that can produce B12 could potentially grow along with S. cerevisiae in the wild, commercially produced nutritional yeast is grown in controlled conditions that would normally not allow those bacteria to grow. Therefore, nutritional yeast is not a reliable source of B12 unless it is fortified.”
“Nutritional yeast products do not have any added monosodium glutamate; however, all inactive yeast contains a certain amount of free glutamic acid because when the yeast cells are killed, the proteins that compose the cell walls begins to degrade, breaking down into the amino acids that originally formed it. Glutamic acid is a naturally occurring amino acid in all yeast cells, as well as in vegetables, fungi, and animals.”
The complete nutritional information, coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients can be found in the following nutrient tables.
Nutritional Information per Portion (1 tbsp) Convert per 100g
|Saturated Fats||0.02 g|
|Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber)||1.1 g|
|Protein (albumin)||1.4 g|
|Cooking Salt (Na:60.0 mg)||4.3 mg|
|Essential Nutrients per Portion (1 tbsp) with %-share Daily Requirement at 2000 kcal|
|Vit||Thiamine (vitamin B1)||1.2 mg|
|Vit||Riboflavin (vitamin B2)||0.11 mg|
|Vit||Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||0.08 mg|
|Vit||Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and||8.5 µg|
|Vit||Niacin (née vitamin B3)||0.65 mg|
|Vit||Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)||0.18 mg|
|Vit||Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0.06 µg|
|Elem||Magnesium, Mg||4.8 mg|
|Elem||Calcium, Ca||3.5 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1.7 mg|
Detailed Nutritional Information per Portion (1 tbsp) for this Ingredient
The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.
If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.
For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.