The strength of leaf fibers and the nutritional value of the edible fruit of several yucca species native to the U.S. southwest were studied to aid in the determination of species best suited for commercial cultivation by the Navajo Nation. The leaves were softened in an autoclave to facilitate the removal of the leaf matrix, conditioned in environmentally controlled chambers, and the fibers were broken using a texture analyzer. The fibers were frozen and cross sectioned and photographed to determine cross sectional area. Official methods were used to determine the nutritional content of the fruit. The mean tensile strength of Y. angustissima, Y. baccata, and Y. glauca was 484 Â±79, 710Â±174, and 388Â±104 MPa, respectively. Fibers from the leaves of Y. baccata had a significantly higher tensile strength than the leaves of the other two species. Nutritional profiling of the fruit of Y. angustissima and Y. baccata indicated that the fruit of both species are good sources of vitamin C (73-119 mg/100g) and thiamin (0.20 to 0.22 mg/100g). Because of its edible fruit and superior leaf fiber tensile strength, Y. baccata is recommended as the best species for cultivation and commercialization.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bartlett, Anna Therese, "Leaf Fiber Strength and Fruit Nutrient Content of Yucca Species Native to the Navajo Nation" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 7554.
yucca fiber, tensile strength, micronutrients, Y. angustissima, Y. baccata, Y. glauca