News Real Bread Campaign

Additive-free dried yeast

Is such a thing still available in the UK?

Fungi to be with?. Credit: Canva

Fungi to be with?. Credit: Canva

When the Real Bread Campaign started in 2008, two brands of additive-free, dried active yeast were widely available in the UK. They are no more.

In April 2024, the Campaign searched for additive-free dried active and fast acting (also known as quick, instant, easy bake etc.) yeast available in the UK.

Of nearly 30 products found, 27 (90%) contained one or more additives.

In three cases (Aldi the Pantry, Co-op amd McDougalls) the ingredients list was as long as: yeast (94%), stabiliser (calcium sulphate), emulsifier (sorbitan monostearate), flour treatment agents (ascorbic acid, alpha amylase), salt, wheat flour, wheat flour (with added calcium, iron, niacin, thiamin), wheat starch.

Which dried yeast can be used to make Real Bread?

The Real Bread Campaign defines Real Bread as made without chemical raising agents, so-called processing aids or other additives. A product made using any ingredient (such as flour or yeast) that contains additives falls short of this and so is not what the Campaign calls Real Bread and not eligible to bear The Real Bread Loaf Mark.*

Only three products reached this very low bar by being additive-free:

  • Bio Real 
  • Forest Whole Foods organic dried yeast
  • SAF-Leuvre active dry yeast**

To find and compare stockists, you can do an online search.

If you know of any other additive-free brand of dried yeast that’s available in the UK, please Drop us a line.

*Exceptions we make to this criterion are for so-called fortificants in places (including the UK) where they are added to flour by law.

**Note that the SAF brand also includes a number of lines that are not additive-free.

What other options are there?

  • Fresh yeast is usually additive-free – though always read the ingredients list to be sure.
  • A live sourdough starter that you make yourself from additive-free flour* and water.
  • A fresh or dried sourdough starter that you buy – again, always read the label.

Want to help change things?

You could write to yeast producers and ask them to offer additive-free dried active yeast. If they see demand direct from people who make bread (rather than reported by the Campaign), perhaps one or more companies will meet it.

The products

Results of an online search for 'dried active yeast' and 'instant yeast' available in the UK, conducted by the Real Bread Campaign on 15 April 2024.

Brand Type Additive-free
Bio Real Dried active Yes
Forest Wholefood Organic Website doesn't specify Yes
SAF-Leuvre active dry yeast Dried active Yes
AB Mauri Mauripan Fast acting No
Aldi the Pantry Fast acting No
Allinson's Fast acting No
Allinson's Dried active No
Allinson's time saver Fast acting No
BAKE by ASDA Easy Bake Yeast  Fast acting No
Bakers Instant Dried Yeast Fast acting No
Belbake Dried Yeast (Lidl) Fast acting No
Borwick's Dried Yeast Fast acting No
Caputo Lievito Secco Fast acting No
Co-op instant dried yeast Fast acting No
Daily Bread Fast acting No
DCL Instant Fast acting No
Doves Farm Fast acting No
Fermipan (Red) Fast acting No
Hovis Fast acting No
Mauripan instant Fast acting No
McDougalls bread yeast Fast acting No
Morrison's fast action Fast acting No
Pure Gluten Free Fast acting No
Red Star dry active yeast Dried active No
SAF-Leuvre (Gold) Fast acting No
Sainsbury's Fast acting No
Tesco Fast acting No


See also

Published Thursday 18 April 2024

Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.

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