Yeast bred to bear artificial vanilla

Yeast bred to bear artificial vanilla

Researchers have co-opted fungi to produce the flavor more efficiently

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 11:29 AM April 23, 2009

A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and now, vanilla.

Yeast has long been pressed into service for making food and drink, and now scientists have recruited the fungus for a loftier flavor: vanillin, vanilla’s dominant compound. Scientists report in an upcoming Applied and Environmental Microbiology that they have engineered strains of beer and baker’s yeast to produce vanillin from glucose, a greener and cheaper route than previous methods.

“This is absolutely beautiful work,” says John Rosaz...

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