When was yeast first used?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “when was yeast first used?”. We will also discuss the uses and ecological importance of yeast.

When was yeast first used?

Yeast was used 5000 years ago by Egyptians. Yeast has been around for millennia, and there are currently more than 1,500 species to choose from.  Anton van Leeuwenhoek first observed yeast under a microscope in 1680. However, at that time, researchers were unsure as to whether yeasts were algal or fungal structures and therefore did not consider them living organisms. 

As far back as 1837, they were known as fungi by Theodor Schwann. The “Pasteur effect” was coined by  Louis Pasteur in 1857 who was a French microbiologist. He discovered that increasing the amount of oxygen in the yeast broth raised cell growth, but inhibited fermentation. 

Pasteur’s “Mémoire Sur la fermentation alcoolique” confirmed that the fermentation process of alcohol was carried out by living yeasts, not a chemical catalyst. S. cerevisiae and S. carlsbergensis were identified by the late 18th century as the 2 different yeast strains being used in brewing (bottom-fermenting yeast). 

It has been commercially available in the bread-making form in the Netherlands since 1780, and in the type of a cream product in Germany since the early 1800s. It was in 1825 that a method was devised to remove all the liquid so that it could be made into solid blocks.   

Industrial yeast block production increased in 1867 when the filter press was introduced. It wasn’t until the Ww1 that Baron Max de Springer came up with a way to make yeast granules. 

Humans may have used yeast long before they learned to write. More than 5,000 years ago, hieroglyphic evidence suggests that ancient Egyptian societies were brewing alcoholic beverages and baking bread using yeast and the fermentation process. 

In the United States, air-borne yeast strains have been used more or less primarily until commercial yeast was sold at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Charles L. Fleischmann showed the product and a way to use it, and he also served bread made with the yeast.

What is the ecological importance of yeast?

A wide variety of yeasts can be found in the natural world, and they’re frequently found in materials that are high in sugar. Fruits and berries (such as grapes, apples, and peaches) have naturally occurring yeasts on their skins, as well as plant exudates. A number of yeasts can be found in close proximity to soil and insects. 

Fruit decay is dominated by yeasts found in the soil and on the fruit’s skin, according to research. Wild yeast can be found almost anywhere if you ask a brewer or bread baker. It can be found in flowers, trees, fruit, vegetables, beards, and even further south in our homes and communities.

Your hands are likely to pick up and deposit yeast at every opportunity. When compared to other microorganisms, the eco function and variety of yeasts are less well understood. Rhodotorula rubra, Candida albicans, Torulopsis, and Trichosporon cutaneum, among other yeasts, have been discovered in the skin flora discovered between people’s toes.

Yeasts can also be found in the intestinal life of insects and mammals, and also in the depths of the ocean, they can be found in abundance.

What are the uses of yeast?

Yeast is used in the food industry for both fermentation and seasoning. To make beer and wine, yeast feeds on simple sugar, generating alcohol (ethanol) and CO2. To bake, yeast feeds on sugar and produces carbon dioxide. CO2 is preserved in the final product in beers and sparkling wines. 

When the bread is baked, the alcohol in the dough is expelled. Yeasts in the air often kick-start the fermentation process in wines and sourdough pieces of bread. A single yeast cell can metabolize about the same amount of glucose in an hour as it does in a day.

In commercial operations, molasses, salt, and ammonia solution are fed to selected yeast strains. After the yeast has completed its growth cycle, it is removed from the solution of nutrients, cleaned, and then packaged. A dry granular yeast mixed with cornmeal is available in compressed cakes that contain starch.

In addition to being high in protein, commercial yeast also contains significant amounts of the B vits B1, B2, nicotinic acid, and folic acid. It is possible to eat nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast as a vitamin supplement.

Is it healthy to consume yeast?

Maintaining a healthy digestive system is made easier by consuming yeast. When you have the correct amount in your body, your immune system is able to function properly. One of the good bacteria in your digestive system is yeast. In addition to aiding nutrient absorption, it may also help fight illness.

Other FAQs about Yeast that you may be interested in.

How much is 3g yeast in teaspoons?

How much is 7g yeast in teaspoons?

Can I add more yeast to wine?

How to use yeast?


In this brief article, we have answered the question “when was yeast first used?”. We have also discussed the uses and ecological importance of yeast.