Is Yeast Gluten-Free?
Because yeast is a commonly associated with bread, people with celiac disease often question whether it is safe for them to eat. In short, it depends on the kind of yeast. Most yeast is gluten-free, but some kinds of yeast do contain gluten. The most common kinds of yeast used for baking, like baker’s yeast and active dry yeast, are gluten-free.
Is Baker’s Yeast Gluten-Free?
Yes, baker’s yeast is gluten-free. Baker’s yeast is commonly used in breads. Both active dry yeast and instant yeast are considered types of baker’s yeast.
Is Yeast Extract Gluten-Free?
It depends. Yeast extract and autolyzed yeast extract may contain gluten from barley. Manufacturers are not required to disclose the source of yeast extract on the ingredients label, so you should only use yeast extract that is labeled gluten-free or confirmed gluten-free by the manufacturer.
Is Brewer’s Yeast Gluten-Free?
Brewer’s yeast, also called saccharomyces cerevisiae, is not gluten-free unless specified on the product label. Most brewer’s yeast is a byproduct of the beer brewing process and contains gluten from the barley used to make beer. There are some brands of brewer’s yeast created using sugar beets and are gluten-free. You should not use brewer’s yeast unless it is labeled gluten-free. You can read more about brewer’s yeast in our webinar Dispelling Gluten-Free Labeling and Ingredients Myths.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a commonly used yeast to ferment foods and beverages. After it’s used it becomes deactivated (see spent yeast below). In and of itself it does not contain gluten. It depends on what it’s used for.
Is Autolyzed Yeast Gluten-Free?
Yes, autolyzed yeast is gluten-free. Carefully read the label because, even though autolyzed yeast is gluten-free, “autolyzed yeast extract” is made from barley and is not gluten-free.
Is Active Dry Yeast Gluten-Free?
Yes, active dry yeast is gluten-free.
Is Instant Yeast Gluten-Free?
Yes, instant yeast is gluten-free. Instant yeast is similar to active yeast, but can be directly added to dry ingredients in a recipe, rather than having to be dissolved in water first.
Can I Eat Bread Made with Yeast?
It depends on the kind of yeast and the other ingredients in the bread. Bread made with baker’s yeast is gluten-free so long as the other ingredients used are also gluten-free. Many gluten-free breads are made with yeast and are safe for people with celiac disease to eat.
What is Spent Brewer’s Yeast?
Spent yeast is deactivated yeast that’s a by-product of beer fermentation. Due to its use in beer manufacturing, it will often have cross-contact with gluten. Much spent yeast wouldn’t be considered gluten-free.
You can read more about yeast in Answers from a Dietitian.