The study, conducted at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, compared a patty made from proteins sourced from brewer’s spent yeast to conventional beef and a vegan patty as benchmarks.
Yeastup AG, a Swiss startup based in Brugg, Switzerland, announced the results of a life cycle assessment evaluating the environmental impact of burger patty production. The study, conducted at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, compared a patty made from proteins sourced from brewer’s spent yeast (BSY) to conventional beef and a vegan patty as benchmarks.
According to the ISO 14040 ff Life Cycle Assessment, the BSY-derived protein called Yeastin, manufactured by Yeastup, could reduce the environmental footprint of a 113 g burger patty by 74 to 81%, depending on the indicator examined. The study determined that the production of pea protein had a greatest environmental impact on the conventional vegan patty (19-45%), while meat in the beef patty produced a figure of 84-98%.
“Thanks to the use of an industrial by-product, Yeastin requires no arable land, no cultivation, no irrigation and no pesticides. This is a clear ecological benefit over animal and plant sources,” explains Daniel Gnos, founder of Yeastup AG, in a press release.
Of the environmental footprint that Yeastin does produce, the analysis attributes 56% of it to the animal feed substitution that replaces the BSY previously used for that purpose. Compared to the benchmark pea protein, the environmental impact of the BSY-derived protein was 81% lower, produces 74% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and requires 80% lower cumulative energy demand.
With this life cycle assessment, Yeastup is making the case for Yeastin to be an environmentally-friendly alternative to both animal and plant-based proteins. “With these results, we aim to demonstrate the potential environmental benefits of using proteins derived from a high-quality brewery residue to our current and future project partners in the food industry using a global benchmark,” said Gnos.