Vegemite is a type of savory yeast extract spread, often eaten on crackers, toast or in sandwiches, particularly in New Zealand and Australia, where it originated. Similar to the British spread Marmite, Vegemite has a milder flavor and a smell sometimes described as being similar to soy sauce. Vegemite is also highly nutritious, with some of the highest levels of B vitamins of any food per serving.
Vegemite is a thick paste with a dark reddish-brown color and shiny appearance when spread. It is made from the wasted brewer's yeast that results from the process of making beer. When the yeast consumes all of the sugars in the beer during fermentation, it settles and is removed. The dead yeast is then washed and heated in water. As the yeast cells die they release nutrients. The water then spins in a large centrifuge to remove the yeast cells. What remains is reduced and concentrated, seasoned and packaged for sale as Vegemite.
According to the USDA, a typical serving of Vegemite, or around 1 tsp., weighs around 6 g, total. Protein provides around 1.7 g per serving, while just under 1 g comes from carbohydrates, with part of that measure being sugar. There are no appreciable amounts of fat in a serving of Vegemite. The remainder is made of other nutrients and water.
A single serving of Vegemite provides about 9 calories. Approximately 5 calories come from protein, with carbohydrates making up the remaining calories. The same serving provides less than 1 percent of the total daily caloric intake for the average adult.
Vitamins and Minerals
Several essential vitamins are also available in a serving of Vegemite. Thiamin at 0.5 mg, and folate at 0.1 or 50 percent each of the recommended daily intake are the highest amounts. The spread also includes niacin at 2.5 mg, and riboflavin at 0.43 mg at 25 percent each. A single serving also contains trace amounts of the minerals iron, potassium, zinc and selenium.
Vegemite is high in sodium. Originally at a salt content of 10 percent, the amount has since been lowered to around 8 percent, total. A 1 tsp. serving of Vegemite contains over 10 percent of the total recommended daily intake. Individuals following a low-sodium diet, may decide to forgo Vegemite as a part of their diet.