On Tuesday, March 20th, 1945, A. C. Thaysen, Ph.D., M.Sc., delivered a paper on Food Yeast: Its Nutritive Value and its Production from Empire Sources. The name “Food Yeast” signifies a special type of yeast which conforms to a certain standard both in appearance, taste, vitamin content and protein content. It could be rapidly made if sufficient sugar were available for the purpose. A source of nitrogen is equally necessary: the supply of this does not offer the same difficulties, since inorganic nitrogen, either in the form of sulphate of ammonia, or ammonia gas, is abundantly available, and can be transported fairly easily. The main difficulty is providing large supplies of sugar. The planning for large‐scale production of food yeast requires the selection of a locality in which there would be comparatively easy access to a cheap supply of the required sugar. Such places were West Indies, Middle East, India, Canada and Newfoundland. The selection of a suitable and palatable yeast which gave high yields from sugar was fairly easily accomplished, for several such types were already known. Food yeast made at a pilot plant in Teddington consisted of a light straw coloured flaky powder with a pleasant nutty or meaty taste. It had a protein content of 40 and 45 per cent., and the whole range of B vitamins in balanced proportions. Food yeast was readily miscible with water and it could be incorporated into flour to make a loaf or biscuit. In human nutrition food yeast has been tried by a number of workers both as a source of protein and as a potent supply of B vitamins. Full reports of all this work are not yet available, but it is known that food yeast has been beneficial in many cases. Supplies have now been despatched to various Colonial countries, where such deficiencies are frequently met with. It has also been sent to two liberated European countries. Reports on its effect will no doubt in due course become available. With the experience gained at the Teddington pilot plant it was decided to draw up a scheme for the large‐scale manufacture of food yeast in a part of the Colonial Empire where raw materials in the form of sugar or molasses would be available throughout the year. Jamaica was chosen as a suitable place, and the local association of Sugar Growers was invited to select one of their members to carry out the scheme. This association chose the West Indies Sugar Company and to their engineers fell the arduous task of designing a plant. This work has now been completed and the machinery needed has been made and despatched. It is hoped that actual operations will start in the summer of this year with a daily output of 12 tons of food yeast. In addition to this scheme, sponsored by the Colonial Office, the Indian Central Government have decided to construct a food yeast plant in India. The South African Government have taken preliminary steps in the same direction within its domains, and both the Australian and the New Zealand Governments are similarly engaged.
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