What Is Torula Yeast?
Torula yeast is a type of yeast, one of about 1,500 types of tiny, single-celled fungi. Edible torula yeast grows on wood alcohols. When deactivated and dried, it looks like a tan powder and can be packaged and sold in health and nutrition stores. It adds a smoky, umami flavor to foods.
Torula is also known as candida utilis. This type of yeast is a byproduct of the paper industry. During the process of turning wood into paper, torula yeast grows on waste sulfite liquid from the wood pulp. From there, it can be taken and dried into a powder.
Once dried, torula yeast is a tan color and tastes somewhat meaty. It may have a negative connotation because it is used in dog food but is now being added to human food. It’s rich flavor and umami aspects make is a popular replacement for MSG.
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