Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 166, Issue 2, pp 245–259 | Cite as

Biochemical Comparison of Commercial Selenium Yeast Preparations

  • Sheena FaganEmail author
  • Rebecca Owens
  • Patrick Ward
  • Cathal Connolly
  • Sean Doyle
  • Richard Murphy


The trace mineral selenium (Se) is an essential element for human and animal nutrition. The addition of Se to the diet through dietary supplements or fortified food/feed is increasingly common owing to the often sub-optimal content of standard diets of many countries. Se supplements commercially available include the inorganic mineral salts such as sodium selenite or selenate, and organic forms such as Se-enriched yeast. Today, Se yeast is produced by several manufacturers and has become the most widely used source of Se for human supplementation and is also widely employed in animal nutrition where approval in all species has been granted by regulatory bodies such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Characterisation and comparison of Se-enriched yeast products has traditionally been made by quantifying total selenomethionine (SeMet) content. A disadvantage of this approach, however, is that it does not consider the effects of Se deposition on subsequent digestive availability. In this study, an assessment was made of the water-soluble extracts of commercially available Se-enriched yeast samples for free, peptide-bound and total water-soluble SeMet. Using LC-MS/MS, a total of 62 Se-containing proteins were identified across four Se yeast products, displaying quantitative/qualitative changes in abundance relative to the certified reference material, SELM-1 (P value <0.05; fold change ≥2). Overall, the study indicates that significant differences exist between Se yeast products in terms of SeMet content, Se-containing protein abundance and associated metabolic pathways.


Selenium Yeast Selenomethionine Speciation Supplementation Proteomics LC-MS/MS 



LC-MS facilities were funded by a competitive award from Science Foundation Ireland (12/RI/2346 (3)) to SD.

Conflict of Interest

SF, RM, CC and PW are employees of Alltech who retail selenium-enriched yeast as a commercial feed additive.

Supplementary material

12011_2015_242_MOESM1_ESM.docx (108 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 (DOCX 107 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheena Fagan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rebecca Owens
    • 2
  • Patrick Ward
    • 1
  • Cathal Connolly
    • 1
  • Sean Doyle
    • 2
  • Richard Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Alltech Biotechnology CentreDunboyneIreland
  2. 2.Department of BiologyMaynooth UniversityMaynoothIreland

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