Marmite fans ‘can’t eat it anymore’ after finding out its ingredients
In an unearthed episode of Food Unwrapped on Channel 4, presenter Kate Quilton visited a factory in Staffordshire to see how Marmite and other yeast extracts are made.
On the streets, several members of the public tried to guess what Marmite was made from. One suggested: “A really reduced beef stock,” while another wondered if “mould and salt” went into the yeast product.
Sinjin Skelton, a quality specialist at the factory, showed Kate the whole process and revealed the ingredients.
He said: “When breweries make beer, they take a sugary solution, and they’ll add yeast to it and the yeast will convert the sugar into alcohol.
“The yeast cells multiply as they product alcohol, and as a result, the breweries end up with seven times more yeast than they started with, which is then sold to make yeast extract.”
Kate remarked: “That explains the smell – it smells like beer!”
“When it arrives from the breweries, it’s pumped into large vats called coppers,” she told viewers.
Sinjin added: “What’s happening in there is, we adjust the temperature so the yeast starts to decay.
“The coppers are heated to 95 degrees which kill the live yeast and breaks down the cell walls.
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“The yeasty soup is then separated into two liquids – the broken down cell walls and the cell inners.”
Kate held a bottle of the liquid and remarked: “You’ve gutted every single cell of yeast and that’s what is yeast extract.”
But to turn it into a spreadable product, the liquid is heated up and boiled, making a concentrated yeast extract.
Kate sampled the product after it had been boiled and said it “slightly tastes like there’s a little something missing”. Sinjin replied: “We add secret ingredients.”
The presenter wanted to see inside the large container but wasn’t allowed, she did however comment on the colour: “It’s very red!”
According to Marmite’s label, it contains barley, salt, vegetable juice, concentrate and celery.
“Whatever it is,” Kate remarked. “It’s blended with the yeast extract and fills 25 million jars a year.”
Marmite fans took to social media to comment on the product’s process.
“Oh gosh, I can’t eat this anymore. But my childhood!” One wrote.
“So basically it’s dehydrated yeast guts mixed with vegetable stock,” another commented.
A third wrote: “Toast, Marmite and Beer. Yeasty way to start the day.”
Marmite has branched out its range with crunchy peanut butter, truffle and chilli.
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