Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians used yeast in the production of bread and beer - but without really knowing what mysterious force was helping them to bake and brew. This secret was discovered much later by Louis Pasteur: In 1857 he discovered the yeast and its mode of action with the help of the microscope. This also explains why yeast, which is so essential to beer production, is not mentioned in the German Purity Law of 1516.
What is yeast?
Yeasts are single-celled mini-creatures, which are among the lower mushrooms and are invisible to the naked eye. They occur in nature as wild yeasts everywhere and have been bred for centuries as culture yeasts with very special properties. After all, they are the natural trick in making bread, beer or wine.
What is yeast used for?
Yeast is a real diva, which develops its power only under very specific conditions. It does not like cold, fat or salt, but when it's warm and warm and fed with starch and sugar, it grows and thrives.
It ferments starch and sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide. The puffing when baking the dough of cake, bread and rolls on and makes the pastry nice and easy. For drinks such as wine or beer she provides the alcohol. And by the way, it also provides flavor and vitamins.
- For baking, baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is used, which is freshly pressed to a cube or dried as a powder in every supermarket and which drives the dough through the use of extra carbon dioxide.
- For beer, special brewer's yeasts are used, of which there are top-fermented, for example white or wheat beer and dark beers, and bottom-fermented representatives for pils, export and storage.
- Depending on the grape variety and the desired result, specialized wine yeasts are used for wine production.
For the taste of yeast products, it is crucial, with which the yeast is fed in the breeding: on whey-grown milk yeast tastes slightly sweet to neutral, while the bred on molasses noble or seasoning yeast and on barley malt and hops grown brewer's yeast mild to tart spicy taste,
It's easy to see how the yeast works: just mix a little yeast with a teaspoon of sugar and some lukewarm water to keep the mix warm. And off you go - an impressive experiment especially for children.
The health benefits of numerous nutrients
The intrinsic values of yeast also impress, because yeast contains a lot of nutrient power:
- Especially the content of B vitamins in yeast is enormous. Above all, the vitamins B1, B2, B6 and niacin are represented. This mix ensures a smooth metabolism and supports muscles and nerves - balm for those who are stressed and tense.
- With folic acid, pantothenic acid and biotin, yeast also provides true beauty vitamins, which are important for healthy skin, hair and nails.
- But also the content of minerals and trace elements can be seen. Yeast contains potassium and sodium in an ideal ratio, calcium for strong bones and teeth, magnesium for supple muscles, iron for blood formation and zinc for good defenses.
- With plenty of high-quality protein, yeast is also a good supplement for those who need more: vegetarians, growing children, pregnant or lactating women and athletes.
However, there is one obstacle on the way to the valuable interior of yeast: it has a strong cell wall that the body can not crack. Those who want to specifically improve their nutrient supply with the protozoan should therefore prefer products with an open-minded yeast. Here the hard cell walls are already cracked and the power is fully available to the body.
But even in their whole form some yeasts offer a health advantage: Living yeasts have a probiotic effect. In other words, they provide a healthy balance of the intestinal flora - important for a strong immune system and an effective, natural remedy for diarrhea.
Product variety of yeast
Everyone knows the typical yeast cube or the dry yeast for baking and the Hefeweizen. But yeast is also available in many other varieties that are worth trying. A wide range of yeast products are available in health food stores and organic stores, but even the normal supermarket now has a lot to offer. Yeast flakes and powders, for example, are very suitable for low-salt seasoning of spicy and sweet foods.
Important when seasoning: Always add the yeast after cooking, because heat quickly drops the vitamin content in the cellar and reduces the positive effect.
Yeast-based vegetarian spreads are an alternative to sausages and cheeses. Also yeast extract, which is very popular in England, has some fans in Germany. It can also be used as a spread, for seasoning or to make broths.
In the pharmacy there are also beer yeast tablets for supplementation, sometimes in addition to certain vitamins and / or minerals, and yeast products for a healthy intestine. They are a proven means of preventing and treating diarrhea, such as traveler's diarrhea, and are recommended for antibiotic treatment to protect the intestinal flora and for skin problems such as acne.