Yeast cell wall, also known as yeast cell wall polysaccharides (YCWPs), is a byproduct of yeast fermentation and is commonly used as a feed supplement for ruminants. It is a rich source of non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) and has been shown to have several beneficial effects on ruminant health and performance.
A source of dietary fiber
One of the main applications of yeast cell wall in ruminant nutrition is as a source of dietary fiber. Ruminants, such as cows and sheep, are able to digest NSPs, which are indigestible by monogastric animals such as pigs and chickens. YCWPs are rich in NSPs, such as beta-glucans and mannanoligosaccharides (MOS), which can increase the dietary fiber content of ruminant feed. This can improve rumen function, as well as increase the overall efficiency of nutrient utilization in the animal.
A source of immune-boosting compounds
Yeast cell wall is also used in ruminant nutrition as a source of immune-boosting compounds. Beta-glucans, a type of NSP found in YCWPs, have been shown to have immune-modulating properties. They can increase the production of antibodies and other immune cells, which can improve the animal’s ability to fight off infections. MOS, another type of NSP found in YCWPs, also has been shown to improve the animal’s immune system by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.
A source of antioxidants
Yeast cell wall is also used in ruminant nutrition as a source of antioxidants. Some of the compounds found in YCWPs such as mannans and beta-glucans have been shown to have antioxidant properties. These compounds can help to protect the animal’s cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can help to improve overall health and reduce the risk of disease.
A source of growth promoting compounds
Yeast cell wall is also used in ruminant nutrition as a source of growth promoting compounds. Some of the compounds found in YCWPs such as beta-glucans have been shown to have growth promoting properties. These compounds can help to improve the animal’s appetite, which can lead to increased growth and improved performance.
Overall, yeast cell wall is a valuable ingredient in ruminant nutrition. It is a rich source of NSPs, which can improve rumen function and nutrient utilization, as well as providing immune-boosting, antioxidant and growth promoting compounds. It is a natural and safe alternative to other feed supplements and additives that are used in the industry.