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Autolysis

Autolysis. The process of enzymatic (q.v.) self-digestion or breakdown of plant or animal cell tissue deprived of nutrients. Compressed baker's yeast (q.v.), when stored at warm temperatures, will in a short time undergo destruction by its own cellular enzymes (q.v.) and be transformed into a malodorous, semi-liquid mass no longer capable of normal fermentative (q.v.) action. Some yeast autolysates obtained commercially by autolysis under controlled conditions find use as flavorants (q.v.) in some foods, mainly meat products.