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To assess whether assimilation tests in isolation remain a valid method of identification of yeasts, when applied to a wide range of environmental and spoilage isolates.Seventy-one yeast strains were isolated from a soft drinks factory. These were identified using assimilation tests and by D1/D2 rDNA sequencing. When compared to sequencing, assimilation test identifications (MicroLog™) were 18·3% correct, a further 14·1% correct within the genus and 67·6% were incorrectly identified. The majority of the latter could be attributed to the rise in newly reported yeast species.Assimilation tests alone are unreliable as a universal means of yeast identification, because of numerous new species, variability of strains and increasing coincidence of assimilation profiles. Assimilation tests still have a useful role in the identification of common species, such as the majority of clinical isolates.It is probable, based on these results, that many yeast identifications reported in older literature are incorrect. This emphasizes the crucial need for accurate identification in present and future publications.