Abstract

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 ±79, 710±174, and 388±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.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Life Sciences; Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2019-08-01

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd10953

Keywords

yucca fiber, tensile strength, micronutrients, Y. angustissima, Y. baccata, Y. glauca

Language

english

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