Protein from Yeastin brewer’s spent yeast shows “clear ecological benefit,” says study
09 Mar 2023 --- A recent study evaluated the environmental impact of burger patty production and found that a patty made from proteins sourced from brewer’s spent yeast (BSY) can “reduce the environmental footprint of a 113 g burger patty by 74 to 81%, depending on the indicator examined.”
Yeastin protein is produced by Swiss start-up Yeastup, which extracts ingredients from spent brewer’s yeast to produce vegan, sustainable proteins. It has various ingredient applications, including meat substitutes and cheese alternatives to sports nutrition products, according to Yeastup.
The study was carried out by the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).
“In our Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study, we investigated the environmental impact of producing protein from BSY and using it as an ingredient in burger patties,” says Daniel Gnos, founder of Yeastup.
“With these results, we aim to demonstrate the potential environmental benefits of using proteins derived from a high-quality brewery residue to our current and future project partners in the food industry using a global benchmark.”
Gnos explains the clear environmental benefits of leveraging BSY for protein.
“Thanks to the use of an industrial byproduct, Yeastin requires no arable land, no cultivation, no irrigation and no pesticides. This is a clear ecological benefit over animal and plant sources,” he says.
The study compared burger patties made from various ingredients and then assessed their ecological impact.
“A vegan burger patty made from Yeastin protein has an even smaller ecological footprint than one made from pea protein,” says Yeastup.
“The production of pea protein had the greatest environmental impact on the conventional vegan patty (19% to 45%), with the meat in the beef patty producing a figure of 84-98%.”
The study suggests that, when compared with a beef patty, the environmental impact of the Yeastup alternative based on BSY was lower across all impact assessment methods.
Over half (56%) of the environmental footprint of Yeastin was “attributable to the animal feed substitution that replaces the brewer’s spent yeast in its previous use.”
Compared with pea protein, Yeastin showed “81% lower environmental impact, 74% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and an 80% lower cumulative energy demand,” according to the company.
Yeast’s popularity continues to maintain its hold in the plant-based meat space as a potential solution to providing a sustainable source of protein, with notably active players in the field, including Biospringer.
By James Davies
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