A study at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) recently aimed to evaluate the environmental impact of burger patty production. A patty made with proteins sourced from brewer’s spent yeast (BSY) was compared with conventional beef and a vegan one as benchmarks. The ISO 14040 ff Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) showed that Yeastup’s Yeastin can reduce the environmental footprint of a 113-g. burger patty by 74-81% depending on the indicator examined.

According to the company, a vegan burger patty made from Yeastin protein by Yeastup has an even smaller ecological footprint than one made from pea protein. The production of pea protein had the greatest environmental impact on the conventional vegan patty (19–45%), with the meat in the beef patty producing a figure of 84–98%. 

Compared with the beef patty, the environmental ramifications of the Yeastup alternative were significantly lower across all impact assessment methods by FHNW—possibly because of the elevated global warming potential (GWP) of beef production. Daniel Gnos, founder of Yeastup AG explains another advantage, “Thanks to the use of an industrial by-product, Yeastin requires no arable land, no cultivation, no irrigation and no pesticides. This is a clear ecological benefit over animal and plant sources.”

Of the environmental footprint of Yeastin, 56% was attributable to the animal feed substitution that replaces the brewer’s spent yeast in its previous use. Compared with the benchmark pea protein, Yeastup protein has an approximately 81% lower environmental impact, 74% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and an 80% lower cumulative energy demand. Due to these statistics, the company states Yeastin has potential to become a promising alternative to animal and vegetable proteins from its environmental footprint and nutritional properties.

With a neutral taste, Yeastin’s nutritional profile matches that of animal proteins. Formulations containing the ingredient may show promising functional properties in laboratory scale trials. The company also states there is possibility for numerous application possibilities from meat substitutions and cheese alternatives to sports nutrition products.