The term “yeast” comes from the Old English word “gist,” which means “yeast” or “ferment.” It is believed that this word may have originated from the Proto-Germanic word “jestaz” which means “yeast” or “foam.”
Yeast is a type of fungus that plays an important role in fermentation processes, such as the production of bread, beer, and wine. The name “yeast” specifically refers to the group of unicellular fungi that are used in these processes. Yeast cells are able to convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide through a process known as fermentation, which is what causes bread dough to rise and beer to become carbonated.
The term “yeast” has been used to describe these organisms since at least the 15th century, and it remains in use today to describe a variety of different types of fungi that share this unique ability to ferment sugars.