Natural, savoury taste

Just as you might sprinkle a bit of grated parmesan or add some soya sauce to a dish, yeast extract is used to enrich many of the ready-made sauces, bouillons, soups, meals and savoury snacks you can buy in supermarkets. But as it’s not an ingredient that you’re likely to find in your kitchen’s spice rack, you’re probably wondering what it tastes like.

Spoons with ingredients

"By adding a dash of soya sauce to your food, you can bring out a similar savoury taste sensation as that brought by yeast extract "

It tastes like…

As yeast extract is used in small quantities for its taste delivering qualities in many products rather than in its pure form, most people don’t know what it tastes like. The easiest way to describe it – if you were to dissolve pure yeast extract powder in water – is to compare its taste to that of a meat or chicken bouillon. This comes as no surprise, as the protein components found in yeast extract are very similar to those found in meat and chicken bouillon.

Did you know…

Ingredients that give dishes a umami taste have been used for centuries in traditional cooking, and include tomatoes, parmesan cheese, mushrooms and soya sauce. As with yeast extract, these foods produce a savoury taste due to their natural glutamate content.

 

Savoury ingredients

In addition to the four well-known sweet, sour, bitter and salty tastes easily picked up by our taste buds, umami is the term used by some to describe savouriness, the fifth taste. It’s this savouriness you seek when you add such things as soya sauce or tomato paste to your food. Yeast extract is also a great ingredient to bring forth this same umami taste, as a result of its approximately 5% natural glutamate content.