Yeast’s production chain and circular economy, a winning couple


Fertilizers, animal feeds, energy, but cosmetic and pharmaceutical too. There are countless sectors among which yeast may have a ‘second life’, virtuous production chains projected toward circular economy’s precepts making resources smart’ management a key factor. Sustainability is a theme showing, as explained at Canale Energia ASSITOL’ General Manager Andrea Carrassi, ‘the section’ multitasking core’ able to make it ”leading” in different sectors. “At the end of fermentation’s process giving life at yeast – underlined Carrassi – originated co-produced get all recycled for other veins. Circular economy’s path concerns bioenergies, biochemistry, medical science, cosmetic, animal feed. For example, molasses (agricultural byproduct whence yeast arises) non sugary’ part becomes raw material for last generation’s cosmetics. This manufacturing takes place inside the same companies, who are also studying new solutions to develop this vein. In this way main process’ remains get recycled and become raw material for different outcomes, in circular economy’s perspective”.

Yeast’ supply chain and sustainability

Environmental impact minimizing’ volunteer in the productive processes linked to the compartment translates in growing attention on always more and more innovative technological solutions. In this way, for example, was possible, in the last years, a 20% water’ use reduction, fundamental element to produce yeast. In addition, we started managing waste water and not comparable organic matters efficiently, then we submit them to specific processes to avoid scattering in the ambient.

“Yeast’s companies – said Carrassi to our website – thanks to purification plants, highly technological, treat waters used in producing process to make them recycled in the surrounding lands, for agriculture and livestock. In fact, we need lot of water to produce yeast, that’s the reason way companies invests a lot on procedures and plants, in order to avoid wastefulness and respect the ambient. This implicates an impressive capitals use and continuous attention about ambient and technological development”.

Underlines division’s green vocation and its deep link with the territories even Thomas Lessafre, ASSITOL’ Gruppo Lievito da zuccheri’s (sugars Yeast Group) president, who explained in a note as: ”yeast producers invest on local satellite activities” and how “the best technologies for zero impact productions are all Italian”.

In general, the brand, as appears by the ASSITOL’ Gruppo Lievito da Zuccheri’s (sugars Yeast Group) data, reveals an over 100.000 tons yearly production with more than an half dispatched abroad, with our country occupying third place in Europe.

Energy’ smart consumption

Great attention reserved to energetic’ efficiency theme too. Savings in consumptions’ economy in the sector brought, as we can read in a note, a 50% emissions’ reduction, target reached thanks to cogeneration’s choice. “Our sector – underlines Lessafre in a note – joins for some time to “food first” precept, but we don’t ignore perspectives opened by renewable. Our task is for these two veins’ pacific cohabitation, so they can give great opportunities both to agriculture and industry”.

Sustainable cosmetics

Within cosmetics, cellular bark obtained from yeast, thanks to its anti aging action, it’s used increasingly significant way to realize anti aging creams. “This is a very interesting vein – explains Lessafre on a note – we just started in Italy, compared with other countries that already undertook this road”.

However, to completely exploit this product’s potentialities we have to think not putting it in a vague manner in any compound. “It’s fundamental to keep untouched yeast’s features inside the single product – says Lessafre – the beauty’s industry is working hard on it: obtaining products able to take advantage of this micro organism’ extraordinary qualities. Cosmetic’s future passes surely through yeast and its natural essences’ new purposes”.
European Commission’s proposal that would “jeopardize” the branch

According to Gruppo Lievito da zuccheri di ASSITOL ( sugars yeast Group), yeast’ supply chain could be “jeopardized” by European Commission’s proposed application about the discussion dealing with renewable post-2020 regarding the opportunity of inserting molasses, whereby we obtain yeast, between advanced biofuels, fostering this way its use to produce bioethanol, supported by the subsidies already foreseen by the UE rules. “It would be a stretch – underlines on a note Lesaffre – that would bring an available molasses’ drop and prices’ growth, for our sector and all the involved supply chains“.

The situation that would arise, according to the association, would bring a “dangerous competition between the dietary and energy use”. “That why Gruppo Lievito di ASSITOL – announces president Lesaffre – making its voice heard in Europe thanks to Cofalec, European sector’s confederation, wants to safeguard this circular economy’ model and molasses-coproduced”.

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Monica Giambersio
Giornalista professionista e videomaker con esperienze in diverse agenzie di stampa e testate web. Laurea specialistica in Filosofia, master in giornalismo multimediale. Collaboro con Gruppo Italia Energia dal 2013.