In making bread, yeast is required so that the dough can expand. Yeast is usually added after the flour mixed with water and then stirred evenly. After that, the dough left for a few hours. Yeast itself is actually a microorganism, a small living creature, and usually of the type of Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is used in making the bread. Under conditions of adequate water and food for the yeast, especially sugar, the yeast will grow by converting sugars into carbon dioxide gas and aromatic compounds. The carbon dioxide gas formed is then retained by the dough so the dough expand.
Yeast can be obtained commercially in three forms, namely compressed yeast (yeast liquid with a solid content), active dry yeast (yeast dry form, need to be activated before use), and instant active dry yeast (instant yeast, a dry form which can be used directly without the need to be activated again). Yeast that is available in supermarket is usually instant active dry yeast (instant yeast), which can be directly used, just put into the dough.
Whatever yeast that we use, it is not only the yeast that we concern its halalness, but also its additives. Several ingredients are intentionally added for particular purposes in the making of yeast, for example, ingredients deliberately added for the purpose of increasing stability during storage as no clumping. Yeast also contain fillers. In addition, yeast also contain ingredient derived from the remaining media (food is required by the yeast at the time of propagation of yeast). These additives need to be observed for its halal status.
In the making of compressed yeast, emulsifier is often added in which its halal status is doubtful.
Another additive that may be present in the instant yeast is an anticaking agent. Among the questionable materials of its halal status commonly used as anticaking agents are E542 (edible bone phosphate, derived from animal bones), E570 (acid stearate) and E572 (magnesium stearate). Stearic acid can be derived from plants or from animals. Magnesium stearate is prepared using the basic ingredients of acid stearate. In addition to the gum or dextrin, gelatine is sometimes used as filler material in the instant yeast.
Source: The potency of non halal food products, and issues on genetically modified.
By Anton Apriyantono
The author is holding a Bachelor in Agricultural Technology IPB, Indonesia. Master in Food Science IPB, Indonesia, PhD in Food Chemistry Reading University, UK. He is a lecturer in the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, IPB. Has served as Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia. Being auditor Research Institute for Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Indonesian Ulama Council. Chairman of the trustees of Halalan Thoyiban Foundation, and more activities in various organizations related to the field of da’wah, and consumption of Halal food.