Love it or hate it, Marmite is a British staple, and we eat it by the bucket load – or rather the 25million jars-a-year-load.
Whether you have it on toast, in a cheese sandwich or mixed into stews, if you’re a fan there are plenty of dishes you can add it to in order to get your fix.
But have you ever considered how it’s made? A resurfaced video showing the process used to make the spread has now left people seriously divided.
In Channel 4‘s Food Unwrapped, presenter Kate Quilton, 39, travelled to a factory to see how Marmite and other yeast extracts were made.
Located in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, the business has been producing the black stuff since 1902, and Kate went behind the scenes to chat to the official Marmite Makers.
Sinjin Skelton, a quality specialist at the factory, explained how the yeast extract was created.
Ever wondered how Marmite is made? A documentary revealing the inner workings of the yeast extract spread has left some fans feeling grossed out and declaring they can never eat it again
He said: ‘When breweries make beer, they take a sugary solution and they’ll add yeast to it, and the yeast will convert the sugar into alcohol.’
Explaining the science behind it, Kate revealed that as the yeast cells multiply they produce alcohol, and as a result, breweries end up with as much as seven times more yeast than they started with.
It is then sold to factories to make yeast extract and is pumped into large vats.
The giant tubs, or coppers as they are officially called, are heated to 95C which kills the live yeast and breaks down their cell walls.
‘What’s happening there is we adjust the temperature so the yeast starts to decay,’ says Sinjin.
Kate explains that the ‘yeasty soup’ is then separated into two liquids using a centrifuge, leaving the broken down cell walls and the cell contents.
After realising that Marmite is actually the consituents of an alcohol by-product, many viewers were horrified.
Channel 4’s Kate Quilton went behind the scenes at a factory that has been making Marmite for more than 100 years to find out exactly what goes into the famous spread
Viewers of the show had mixed reactions after finding out exactly what went into Marmite and learning how it was made
‘Oh gosh I can’t eat this anymore. but my childhood tho ,’ wrote one former fan.
‘Marmite is people! It’s people!!’ exclaimed a second person, exaggerating wildly.
A third viewer wrote: ‘Wasn’t expecting his answer (sort of). I Expected him to say that but come back and say no just kidding or something.’
Another added: ‘So basically it’s dehydrated yeast guts mixed with vegetable stock.’
Someone else noted: ‘Toast, Marmite and Beer. Yeasty way to start the day.’
Sinjin revealed that Marmite includes six secret ingredients. Listing others, Kate said: ‘According to the label, it contains barley, salt, vegetable juice concentrate and celery – but whatever it is, it’s blended with the yeast extract and fills 25million jars a year.’