Candida albicans yeast (microscope image)
What they are - biological definition
Yeasts are fungi formed by only one cell (unicellular). They are not visible to the naked eye, so they can only be viewed with a microscope.
Most yeasts are oval shaped.
Yeast reproduction occurs asexually (without gamete intervention) through a process known as budding. This way, one yeast can generate others without the need for another yeast.
Life, food and yeast diseases
Yeasts live in places with organic matter or as parasites in other living things. They can even parasitize humans, causing disease. Candida Albicans yeast is the best known parasitic yeast in humans because it causes a disease called candidiasis that mainly affects the female genitals.
Use of yeast in food and beverage manufacturing
Some species of yeast are used in the beverage and food industry. Wine and beer, for example, use yeast at certain stages of production. They are also used in the dough fermentation process.