Yucca schidigero.(L) of Agavaceae is used as raw material for Yucca extract, which is rich in yucca saponins, polyphenols, polysaccharides and other effective substances through extraction, concentration and spray drying.
As feed additive, Yucca has been approved as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the United States FDA and has been used commercially in developed countries such as Europe and the United States.
As a natural urease inhibitor, yucca extract can reduce the ammonia gas produced by the rapid decomposition of urea, reduce the ammonia gas production in rumen fluid, and improve the utilization rate of non-protein nitrogen. Urease inhibitor is a kind of special feed additive, which is widely used in ruminant culture and ruminant production. In animal production, it can’t only save the cost, improve the production performance, but also improve the livestock and poultry breeding environment.
Urease inhibitors regulate rumen microbial metabolism, improve microbial protein synthesis and reduce rumen urea decomposition rate by inhibiting rumen microbial urease activity of cattle and sheep. It can inhibit the urease activity in rumen, make urea decompose slowly, reduce the release rate of ammonia, and improve the utilization rate of non-protein nitrogen.
Meanwhile, yucca extract can improve rumen fermentation function, inhibit rumen protozoa, and reduce the emission of harmful gases (ammonia and methane) (Walance etc. 1993). Yucca extract can also promote the digestion and absorption of protein and other nutrients, and promote animal growth: Yucca saponins can improve intestinal permeability, improve feed conversion efficiency, and reduce feed ratio (Li Guoxiang etc. 2008), reduce the number of Escherichia coli and total aerobic bacteria, increase the number of lactic acid bacteria, promote the proliferation of beneficial bacteria (Shi Binlin 2014), and improve intestinal health. Yucca saponins and yucca polysaccharides effectively promoted anaerobic microbial fermentation, promoted the synthesis of bacterial body proteins, improved rumen fermentation characteristics, and reduced protozoa number by 63% (Peakstock et al. 1979). Yucca extract has a stabilizing effect on PH value of rumen fluid, increasing the concentration of propionic acid and decreasing the concentration of acetic acid, and the concentration of NH3-N and methane production in rumen fluid are continuously decreased (Goodall et al. 1998). So yucca extract is a good alternative to monensin and growth promotion.