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Why Pets love yeast

Why Pets love yeast

Abstract of a lecture by Dr. Francesca Susca, Global Pet Product Manager, at the Pet Fair South-East Asia 2022

From flavor enhancer to source of nutrients to functional ingredients: benefits and applications of yeast and yeast derivatives in pet nutrition.


Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the predominant microorganism species used in food, beverage, and bakery items, but also feed production processes thanks to its exceptional fermentative and nutritional capacities. Acknowledged since ancient Egypt, the global yeast market has witnessed steady growth over the last few years due to the rising consumption of processed food products, alcohol intake, and elevated awareness about the nutritive value of yeast.

In the last decades, a large number of scientific studies have shown that yeast and its derivatives may provide beneficial effects on animal health. Nowadays, yeast products are extensively used in the pet food industry as functional ingredients, taste enhancers, providers of nutraceutical compounds (i.e. β-glucans, mannan-oligosaccharides, nucleotides), highly concentrated sources of bioavailable selenium as well as an alternative protein source.

Identifying and classifying yeast is a challenge: there are about 60 different genera of yeast, which are comprised of about 500 different species, but only a few of these species are used commercially.

The first part of the presentation aimed at clarifying yeast’s biological characteristics, nutritional value as well as function within pet food applications.

Due to the growing popularity of using yeast-based products, it becomes crucial to be able to select the right strain with the ideal production process, the optimal composition, and the adapted functional properties for the specific benefit you want to achieve.

Yeast based science-backed solutions are able to combine innovation and functionality thus offering the perfect match in a market looking for premiumization and differentiation

The second part of the presentation focused on the great potential of the usage of high-quality yeast and yeast derivatives products in pet nutrition through a special focus on two selected innovative solutions:

  • A new generation of yeast derivatives – a synergistic alliance of specifically selected inactivated yeast strains that helps keep a strong immune system and helps support gut health in dogs and cats.
  • A specifically designed hydrolyzed yeast that offers highly digestible proteins and bioavailable nutrients while contributing to enhancing pet food palatability.

From flavor enhancer to source of nutrients to functional ingredients, yeast is definitively a versatile natural ingredient to bear in mind whenever formulating for beloved pets.

Published Nov 3, 2022

Pet nutritionyeast