Lipid Composition of Brewer's Yeast

Branka Blagović1*, Jasminka Rupčić1, Marko Mesarić2, Katica Georgiú1 and Vladimir Marić3

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Braće Branchetta 20, HR-51000 Rijeka, Croatia

2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Šalata 3, HR-10000, Zagreb, Croatia
3Department of Biochemical Engineering, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, P.O.B. 625, HR-10000, Zagreb, Croatia

Article history:

Received March 16, 2001
Accepted June 20, 2001

Key words:

brewer’s yeast, ergosterol, squalene, phospholipids, fatty acids


The lipid fraction of the Saccharomyces uvarum yeast obtained as a by-product of industrial beer production was analyzed in order to evaluate nutritive and potential pharmacological properties of the yeast biomass. Total lipids accounted for 4.4 % of dry biomass, 58 % of which were neutral lipids. Mono-, di- and triacylglycerols, squalene, lanosterol, ergosterol, steryl esters and free fatty acids were identified in the neutral lipid fraction. Squalene was by far the most abundant one making up 56 % of neutral lipids and 33 % of total lipids, respectively. The main phospholipid component was phosphatidylcholine. Saturated fatty acids predominated in the composition of total and neutral lipids, while in the polar lipid fraction the contents of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids were almost the same. In all three fractions palmitic acid was present in the highest amount. Fatty acid composition of phospholipid classes differed significantly. Although brewer's yeast does not belong to the so-called lipid yeasts, the high content of squalene gives reason for additional exploitation of this by-product of the brewing industry.

*Corresponding author: 
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