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Brewer’s Yeast vs. Nutritional Yeast: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on March 23, 2024
Brewer's yeast is a by-product of beer-making, rich in B-vitamins; nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often fortified with vitamins and used for flavor.

Key Differences

Brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast are both types of yeast, but they differ in purpose and nutritional profile. Brewer's yeast is a by-product of beer brewing and is known for its bitter taste, whereas nutritional yeast is specifically grown for dietary use, with a nutty, cheesy flavor.
The production of brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast involves different processes. Brewer's yeast is harvested from the beer-brewing process and then dried, while nutritional yeast is grown on molasses, deactivated through heat, and then dried. This difference impacts their flavor and nutritional content.
In terms of nutrition, brewer's yeast is rich in B-complex vitamins and protein, making it popular among vegetarians and health enthusiasts. Nutritional yeast, on the other hand, is often fortified with additional vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, and is also a complete protein, making it a favored supplement in vegan diets.
Culinary uses of brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast vary significantly. Brewer's yeast is often used as a dietary supplement or in lactation aids for its nutritional benefits. Nutritional yeast is popular as a cheese substitute in vegan cooking, added to dishes like popcorn, pasta, and salads for its flavor.
Brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast have different appeal and uses in dietary preferences. Brewer's yeast is often avoided by those sensitive to gluten or with yeast allergies, while nutritional yeast is widely used in vegan and vegetarian cuisine for its flavor and nutrient fortification.

Comparison Chart


By-product of beer brewing
Cultivated specifically for food


Nutty, cheesy

Nutritional Profile

High in B-vitamins, protein
Often fortified with B12, protein

Culinary Uses

Dietary supplements, lactation aids
Vegan cheese substitute, flavor enhancer

Dietary Considerations

Contains gluten, potential allergen
Gluten-free, vegan-friendly

Brewer's Yeast and Nutritional Yeast Definitions

Brewer's Yeast

A source of B-complex vitamins and proteins.
Brewer's yeast is a popular ingredient in health shakes.

Nutritional Yeast

Known for its nutty, savory flavor in vegan cuisine.
Nutritional yeast gave the soup a savory depth.

Brewer's Yeast

A nutritional supplement derived from the beer-brewing process.
She took brewer's yeast tablets for extra vitamins.

Nutritional Yeast

A deactivated yeast grown on molasses and used for flavoring.
Nutritional yeast is a staple in her vegan pantry for its umami taste.

Brewer's Yeast

A by-product of brewing, rich in nutrients.
Brewer's yeast is often used in vegetarian diets for its protein.

Nutritional Yeast

A vegan-friendly cheese substitute rich in vitamins.
Nutritional yeast was the key ingredient in his dairy-free pesto.

Brewer's Yeast

Brewer's yeast is a fungus used in beer fermentation.
The brewer's yeast added depth to the beer's flavor.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast used as a food additive.
She sprinkled nutritional yeast on her popcorn for a cheesy flavor.

Brewer's Yeast

Used in baking and brewing for fermentation.
The baker added brewer's yeast to make the dough rise.

Nutritional Yeast

Fortified with B12, used in plant-based cooking.
The nutritional yeast in the recipe added essential B12 to the vegan meal.


Can brewer's yeast be used in vegan recipes?

Yes, brewer's yeast can be used in vegan recipes, though it's not as common as nutritional yeast.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often fortified with vitamins, used as a flavor enhancer.

Is nutritional yeast a good source of B12?

Yes, nutritional yeast is often fortified with vitamin B12, making it a great source for vegans.

Is nutritional yeast safe for those with yeast allergies?

Nutritional yeast is deactivated and generally considered safe for those with yeast allergies, but individual reactions can vary.

Can brewer's yeast help with lactation?

Yes, brewer's yeast is sometimes used in lactation aids due to its nutrient content.

What is brewer's yeast?

Brewer's yeast is a by-product of beer brewing, rich in B-vitamins and protein.

Does brewer's yeast contain gluten?

Yes, brewer's yeast can contain gluten as it's a by-product of beer brewing.

Does brewer's yeast taste like beer?

Brewer's yeast has a bitter taste, somewhat similar to beer.

Can brewer's yeast aid in digestion?

Brewer's yeast may aid in digestion due to its high fiber content.

How do I store nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast should be stored in a cool, dry place, ideally in an airtight container.

Does nutritional yeast have a cheesy flavor?

Yes, nutritional yeast is known for its nutty, cheesy flavor.

Is nutritional yeast processed?

Yes, nutritional yeast is processed and deactivated before being sold.

Can I use brewer's yeast to make bread?

Yes, brewer's yeast can be used for bread making.

Does brewer's yeast have any side effects?

Brewer's yeast can cause side effects like bloating or gas in some people.

Can brewer's yeast help with weight loss?

Brewer's yeast is sometimes included in weight loss diets due to its nutrient density and high fiber content.

Can I substitute brewer's yeast for nutritional yeast in recipes?

While both are yeasts, they have different flavors and nutritional profiles, so they might not be interchangeable in all recipes.

Is brewer's yeast beneficial for skin health?

Brewer's yeast is rich in B-vitamins, which can be beneficial for skin health.

Can nutritional yeast be eaten raw?

Yes, nutritional yeast can be consumed raw and is often sprinkled on foods as a topping.

Is nutritional yeast high in protein?

Yes, nutritional yeast is a complete protein, making it a good supplement for plant-based diets.

Is nutritional yeast gluten-free?

Yes, nutritional yeast is naturally gluten-free.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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