Difference Between Yeast and Yeast Extract (With Table)

Yeast is a very popular ingredient in all baking products, both at home and commercially. Whereas terms such as yeast extracts also exist. When describing yeast extracts, many individuals use the word yeast, which is completely unsuitable. These two terms should not be mistaken, despite their close relationship, especially when employed in the kitchen.

Yeast vs Yeast Extract

The main difference between yeast and yeast extract is that Yeasts are granulated and gritty, whereas yeast extracts are commonly accessible as a liquid or paste. Yeasts aren’t particularly healthy, but yeast extracts are. Yeast is a single-celled organism, and yeast extract is obtained by deactivating or pasteurising yeast.

Yeasts are single-celled eukaryotic microorganisms that belong to the fungus kingdom. Hundreds of millions of years ago, the first yeast appeared, and there are now over 1,500 species of yeast. They are believed to account for 1% of all known fungal species. Yeasts are unicellular creatures that developed from multicellular predecessors, with certain species able to develop multicellular traits by generating pseudohyphae or fake hyphae, which are strings of connected budding cells.

Yeast extracts are generally made up of pure yeast cells. However, the yeast cells are used without the cell walls, and they’re used as food additives and flavourings. They can be found in a wide range of packaged foods, including frozen dinners, crackers, snack snacks, gravy, stock, and more, and are frequently employed to generate savoury flavours and umami taste sensations.

Comparison Table Between Yeast and Yeast Extract

Parameters of Comparison


Yeast Extract




Available in form

grainy or granulated

paste or liquid

Nutrition value

No nutrition value

High in nutrition


Unicellular organism

Made by pasteurizing or deactivating the yeast and breaking its cell walls.


To Convert sugar into Alcohol.

As food additives.

What is Yeast?

Yeast is a live creature in and of itself. It’s a single-celled fungus that can turn sugars and starches into CO2 bubbles (carbon dioxide) and alcohol as a byproduct. Because of this function, yeasts have been employed for generations in the production of wine, bread, and beer, with each product requiring a different yeast type.

Pasteurization, on the other hand, entails adding NaCl or salt to a suspension of yeast extracts. The yeast cells self-destruct as a result of the concentrated fluid. To make the final yeast extracts, the mixture is heated, and the husks are removed during the drying stage. Yeast diameters vary significantly depending on species and environment, although most yeasts are 3–4 m in diameter, with some reaching 40 m.

Mitosis is used by most yeasts to reproduce asexually, and many of them use the asymmetric division process known as budding to accomplish it. Moulds, on the other hand, generate hyphae, and yeasts grow single-celled growth habits. Dimorphic fungi are fungal species that can take both forms (depending on temperature or other factors).

Fermentation is a process in which the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae transforms carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohols. For thousands of years, the results of this reaction have been utilised in baking and the creation of alcoholic beverages.

The term “yeast” stems from the Old English words gist and gyst, as well as the Indo-European root. Yes -, which means “to boil,” “to foam,” or “to bubble.” Yeast microorganisms are thought to be among the first domesticated species. Early grinding stones and baking chambers for yeast-raised bread, as well as drawings of 4,000-year-old bakeries and breweries, were discovered in Egyptian ruins by archaeologists.

What is Yeast Extract?

The word “yeast extract” refers to a set of yeast products that have previously been treated. They’re also utilised as food additives or simply as food flavourings, and they work in a similar way to MSG (monosodium glutamate). Glutamic acids, which are produced by fermenting acids and bases, are found in yeast extracts. These acids are often exclusively found in baking yeast. Yeast extracts can have a distinct, salty flavour.

Although the majority of yeast extracts are pungent and salty, there are numerous sweeter varieties of food item that are used in specific parts of the United States. This item is used as a bread spread (together with butter) and in a mixture to make a hot and tasty drink as a beneficial food addition. This extract is a very popular ingredient in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.

It’s no surprise that yeast extract brands like Vegemite and Marmite have become household names in the food sector. They’re high in B vitamins (but not B12). Therefore vegans and vegetarians will benefit from them. Glutamic acid (free glutamates), an amino acid that contributes umami flavour to yeast extracts and fermented foods, is present. Meat, cheese, fungi (mushrooms), and vegetables (including broccoli and tomatoes) all contain glutamic acid.

Main Differences Between Yeast and Yeast Extract

  1. Yeast is a fungus belonging to the fungus kingdom. Whereas yeast extract is a food.
  2. Yeast is available in the form of grainy or granulated structures. On the other hand, yeast extract is found in the form of paste or liquid.
  3. Yeasts generally have no nutritional value. On the other hand, yeast extracts are high in nutrition.
  4. Yeasts exist as unicellular or single-celled organism. Whereas yeast extract is made by pasteurizing or deactivating the yeast and breaking its cell walls.
  5. Yeasts are used in converting sugar into Alcohol. However, yeast extracts are used as food additives.


Yeast extract is a rich, salty yeast product that is used as a spread similar to peanut butter. Marmite and Vegemite are two well-known brand names. These items are widely available in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. These extracts can also be added to soups, sauces, and even bread to give them more depth. Because yeast extracts are either professionally made in liquid form or have a paste-like consistency, they are significantly different from genuine yeast.

Yeasts, on the other hand, are frequently granulated and gritty in texture and appearance. Furthermore, yeasts are non-nutritive food components, whereas yeast extracts are. Yeasts remove vital nutrients from your body, whilst the latter supplies additional vitality to your system. Yeast extracts are, in a sense, deactivated yeast.


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/(SICI)1097-4660(199609)67:1%3C67::AID-JCTB501%3E3.0.CO;2-O
  2. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/234572