Yeast Beta Glucan is a ‘biological response modifier’ by enhancing the activity of the immune system. Its function has been proved in a variety of research.

Yeast Cell Wall & Yeast Beta Glucan: Relation, Function, Implication and More


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Yeast beta-glucan and Yeast Cell Wall (YCW) are two additives from yeast that could provide Polysaccharides in Feed. They are yeast derivatives to improve animal performance, and there are different confusing concepts between them. 

In this article, beta-glucans and YCW will be put together to discuss their relation, function, and usage in the field of animal nutrition.

Brief on Yeast Cell Wall 

YCW is often called the MOS product; it is the natural source of mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) and Yeast 1,3/1,6-D-beta glucan. YCW contains 20%-35% Mannan, 20%-35% Glucan, 2%, and less than 35% protein. 

In the feed industry, Yeast cell wall is used as mycotoxins binders and antibiotic replacer. And some of the suppliers state there is an immune function in yeast cell walls because there is yeast beta-glucan. 

Brief on Yeast beta-glucan 

Commercial Yeast Beta-glucans means the highly purified Yeast 1,3/1,6-D-beta glucan, which has at least 70% purity. It is originally from the yeast cell wall, which contains 20-30% beta Glucan, the impurity in the commercial yeast beta-glucan like Mannans. Most of the protein has been removed; protein in commercial Yeast Beta Glucan is not more than 5%. In comparison, mannan commercial is not more than 1%. 

In the feed industry, Yeast beta-glucan is used as an immunity stimulator and antibiotic replacer.

Yeast Cell Walls: Functions In Animal Nutrition

YCW is also referred to as Yeast MOS because as the most benefit of YCW come from its functional mannan-oligosaccharides, 

There were three benefits of the MOS: absorbing Pathogens, combining mycotoxins, and act as prebiotic to animals’ gut health. 

Yeast Cell Wall Combines Pathogen:

Many pathogenic bacteria express surface lectins (fimbriae); Lectins mediate bacterial attachment by binding to the glycosidic pattern of the host mucosal; Mannans mimics those glycosidic patterns and binds to the bacteria.

Yeast cell wall showed high efficiency in combining Salmonella, Escherichia coli, etc., preventing pathogens from adhering to intestinal cells and cause diseases.

Yeast Cell Wall Absorbs Mycotoxins:

The unique structure of the yeast cell wall produces absorption for mycotoxins.

The functional mannan in yeast cell walls can interact with mycotoxins through hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds, hydrophobic forces, etc., ways to absorb toxins.

Yeast cell walls can absorb most of AFTb1 and Zon and be effective on DON.

Yeast Cell Wall As Prebiotic

The MOS in the yeast cell wall could promote the growth of Lactobacillus and limit the growth of Escherichia coli. As a result, the Short-chain fatty acids in the guts are enriched. MOS also improves the protein absorption rate and reduces Urea in the piss. 

Yeast cell wall as immunity stimulator, not really works:

Some producers would claim that Yeast beta-glucan in the yeast cell wall could stimulate the animal’s innate immunity. But no trial tests the effect of immunity items like Nature killer Cell.

In fact, in the common Yeast cell wall application, benefits come From the MOS; the beta-glucan in the common yeast cell wall is combined with the protein. The first step of beta-glucan works is 

Combined with the Receptor Dectin-1, the Beta-glucan in the common yeast cell wall is too big to combine. Imagining the beta-glucan is the key while the receptor is the keyhole. And the impurity like protein is the dirt or clam on the key to blocking the key to insert. 

Not Every Yeast Cell Wall Is Equal. 

Traditionally, yeast cell walls have been considered as the by-products of the yeast extract industry,

There was little value of yeast cell walls in history, but people found them in the feed industry, then it is sold as the standardized product.

As the by-product of yeast extract, the commercial yeast cell wall could vary in composition. Because the strain, the culture condition, and extract process of the yeast are different from one yeast extract company to another.  

In yeast cell walls, the protein is considered an impurity to the product; the less protein there is in the YCW, the more polysaccharide is explored. The ideal protein content is less than 30% in the high-quality yeast cell wall. 

How Hiyeast©Yeast cell wall stand out from the other products in the market?

We considered the yeast cell wall as a by-product of the yeast extract process rather than by product. Hiyeast provide high-quality yeast cells have exposed more binding active sites of mannose oligosaccharides.

Every Batch of MOS and beta-glucan is tested by the HPLC method. As the typical data, mannan and beta-glucan of Hiyeast yeast cell wall are 25%+ and protein is 30%. 

Hydrolyzed Yeast Cell Wall from Hiyeast-Generation Ⅱ of Advanced Yeast Cell Wall Product.

In the common yeast, only the outer layer of the MOS yeast cell wall is used in combining the Pathogen or mycotoxins.

Hiyeast has developed the hydrolyzed yeast cell wall; after the yeast cell wall is collected, we have a hydrolyzed process. Most of mannan and protein are released to a soluble form. So all of the mannans could be Utilized. The ability to absorb mycotoxins and Pathogens is maximized. 

So the beta-glucan is free because it is no longer connecting with protein. It is more likely to bind acceptors.

As the prebiotic, there is studied on pets that adding 2% of the hydrolyzed yeast cell wall in the pet food could promote the growth of Lactobacillus and limit Escherichia coli growing. The result in dogs could reduce the smell of its Stool and urine by increasing the protein digestibility.

The study showed it can help to prevent diarrhea P<0.05

Table 1 The effect of adding Hydrolyzed Yeast cell wall to dog staple food on dog microorganisms and short-chain fatty acids

Control2% hydrolyzed yeast cell wall
Lactobacillus cfu log10/g8.488.82
Escherichia coli log10/g8.327.16
short-chain fatty acids
Acetic acid mg/kg276.8294.9
Propionic acid mg/kg121.8151.1
Butyric acid mg/kg127.6200.4
Total SCFAs526.3646.4

Table 2 The effect of Hydrolyzed Yeast cell wall added in dog staple food on dog feces and urine indicators

ItemControl 2% hydrolyzed yeast cell wall
Stool Score3.834.00
Ph of stool7.096.67
Urea in urine mg/dL40.435.7
Ammonia mg/g2.52.05
Phenolic as pollutants mg/g61.4325.08

How do Yeast Beta Glucans work?

Purified Yeast beta 1,3/1,6-D- glucan is considered a strong immune activates macrophages, neutrophils, and NK cells by binding to a specific receptor on their cell surface.

Activated phagocytes are more alert, better able to engulf, kill and digest invading organisms. The animal could have better performance in facing stress.

Beta-glucan could significantly increase the survival rate, feed to meat ratio, and daily gain.

Yeast Beta Glucans: Functions In Animal Nutrition

In terms of aquaculture: In Belize, Central America, feeding a diet containing 100 g/ton of yeast glucan increased the survival rate of prawns infected with the Taura virus from 42% to 55%, and the total output increased by 30%.

Feeding yeast glucan in Europe can increase the survival rate of Atlantic salmon infected with cold water vibriosis to 90%.

In many salmon farms in South America, when the trout fry is about 50 grams in size, the survival rate increases from 30% to 75%. The survival rate has increased from 30% to 75%. If hI yeast beta-glucan is used, the survival rate could be More than 90%.


Hiyeast Yeast Cell Well is a selected product that provides the benefit of absorbing Mycotoxins and Pathogens. We consider it a co-product rather than a by-product and have a stable Mannan and Glucan content and less protein as impurity compared to the competing product. 

Hiyeast hydrolyzed Yeast cell wall is the advanced yeast cell wall as the generation 2 product; it has 45% solubility while the common yeast cell wall is 0% solubility. It is more effective in absorbing mycotoxin and Pathogens. It has shown benefit as a prebiotic to its water-soluble MOS. the Glucan in the hydrolyzed yeast cell wall is also free to show immunity effect. It is a promising antibiotics replacer. 

Hiyeast Yeast beta-Glucan is concentrated beta-glucan derived from the yeast cell wall, which is very pure in the content of beta-glucan, from 70% to 80% plus, it is a strong immune stimulator which commonly doses on less than 200g per ton of feed. And some applications show its significant reduction of mortality.

So, if you are considering adopting yeast derivatives in your aquafeeds, visit our website to view the entire range of our premium quality yeast-derived products.

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