yeast extract powder

Anybody here had an experience with yeast extract powder? I had some crisps last night and was not very well later in the night. I hadn't eaten anything suspicious for dinner. Looked on the crisp packet - which my husband had bought, and discovered they contained yeast extract powder - the only ingredient I was unfamiliar with. I don't eat marmite - love it but keep away from it in case it does something to me. So I am wondering whether this test extract powder is dodgy.

12 Replies

  • Should be yeast extract powder!

  • Hi Urbangirl, do you have a reaction to MSG? because yeast extract powder is another form of MSG.

    As for Marmite I used to love it but found that I always woke up with really bad mouth ulcers after eating it so knew there was something in it. So I think you're very wise avoiding it.

    I hope that you're feeling better now and it may not be due to anything that you ate we all pick up bugs sometimes, I'd blame your hubby LOL...

  • Marmite doesn't count as gluten free any more, so I'd be surprised if yeast extract does (by-products of brewing with barley). Before that I always found it was in the grey area of things they said were OK but made me feel funny...

  • Hi freelancer, I may be wrong but think that theres a difference between yeast extract and spent brewers yeast.

    And the crisps should have said contain gluten and or barley under allergens.

    Also Marmite ingredients in the UK just say plant extract and what is this? In NZ where they make marmite under licence and have to reveal wheat derivatives it says it contains wheat germ extract. So marmite is well dodgy.

  • Just looked it up and both Marmite and Vegemite seem to derive from brewers' yeast (interesting that it says the first Marmite factory was in Burton on Trent!). Don't know about other yeast extracts though.

    I'm not sure you'd always have to declare allergens on crisps as they probably come in below the GF level. I've eaten crisps with yeast extract powder in (Burts salt and pepper in this case) that are labelled free from gluten – I didn't feel right with them but didn't have a full-on reaction. I avoid now, though.

    I absolutely loved Marmite - find it hard to believe I now live in a post-Marmite world!

  • Probably very bad form to reply to myself, but this is interesting, and mentions the Meridian spread.

  • It's not bad from at all, we are all affected by being coeliac so these things are very important to us.

    I think the real problem is that 'yeast extract' is used to cover a few varied products like marmite and vegemite when in reality it is also used extensively as a food enhancer in a multitude of convenience foods.

    And thanks for posting the link to what Coeliac UK say this paragraph is interesting and will explain a lot to those who are very sensitive:

    ''Although we've been looking at Marmite and the loophole in the FSA labelling provisions here, generic yeast extract is used commercially in small quantities (at an average concentration of approximately 1% (5)) in an enormous range of savoury food – indeed its use is almost ubiquitous in everything from crisps to ready meals. These products do not need warnings because the level of gluten involved, whether in a 50g bag of crisps or a 300g ready-meal, is so low. Trying to avoid them unnecessarily can make it almost impossible for coeliacs to purchase convenience food"

    So you could interpret it that contains yeast extract means it's poor quality food with taste enhancers added...yummy...and it may contain traces of gluten...

    An eye opening thread this.

  • Just FYI there's a Meridian Yeast Extract which tastes like marmite and is gluten free, for anyone missing marmite. The one with added salt is most like it, I accidentally tried the unsalted one as well and that wasn't nice. So check the label.

    If something is made from Brewer's Yeast that will be from barley. The crisps have to specify gluten free on the packet or they likely won't be unless they're unflavoured with just potato and sunflower oil.

  • I miss marmite so much, so a substitute sounds wonderful. Is it really gluten free?

  • Yes, the woman in the shop looked it all up for me. It doesn't say so on the jar but I've just double checked on the website : "Milk free, Egg free, Wheat free, Gluten free, Soy free, Fish free, Shellfish free, Sulphites free, Celery free, Mustard free, Lupin free, Mollusc free, Refined Sugar free, Free from GMOs (genetically modified organisms), Free from added artificial colourings, preservatives and flavourings" so there you go. Yeast Extract With Salt is the one I prefer.

  • More often than not yeast extract is code for MSG. A lot of people react badly to MSG whether celiac or not.

  • Thank you all for your contributions. I didn't react that badly to the crisps, which by the way were a treat with a very welcome G & T! I wasn't kept awake all night I just was a bit ill, had stomach ache and felt really sick for a few hours. Besides I was worried that I would be ill the next day, but I wasn't. The crisps were from Sainsburys - hand made sort. I am now convinced it was the yeast extract powder - it certainly wasn't the gin! Anyway domestic harmony has been restored and husband has been suitably apologetic for his mistake. However, it brings it home yet again to me I have to take responsibility for my food - I can't rely on others regardless of who they are. I don't trust them.

    Before I went GF I have eaten some of those alternative marmite products and thought they were awful. Maybe they have improved. And I think ingredients should be labelled properly - yeast extract was not in bold on the packet.

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