• Impact of caseins and whey proteins ratio and lipid content on in vitro digestion and ex vivo absorption

      Mulet-Cabero, Ana-Isabel; Torcello-Gómez, Amelia; Saha, Shikha; Mackie, Alan R.; Wilde, Peter J.; Brodkorb, Andre; Irish Dairy Levy Research Trust; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; BBSRC UK; MDDT6261; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-07-30)
      Caseins and whey proteins are known as ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ proteins, respectively, based on their amino acid absorption rate. However, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms controlling their behaviour during gastro-intestinal transit. A protein model system (8% total protein) with varying casein:whey protein ratios (0:100, 20:80, 50:50 and 80:20) were subjected to in vitro gastro-intestinal digestion using a semi-dynamic gastric model, a static intestinal model and an ex vivo absorption model (Ussing chambers). The casein-rich (≥50%) samples showed the formation of solid coagula that were persistent throughout gastric digestion, which caused a delay in nutrient emptying, slower digestion and leucine absorption kinetics. In contrast, whey proteins formed more soluble aggregates during the gastric phase, which led to faster gastric emptying, rapid intestinal hydrolysis, and higher and faster leucine absorption. This work shows the key role of the gastric restructuring for the overall digestive mechanism and kinetics of food, in particular proteins.