• The harmonized INFOGEST in vitro digestion method: From knowledge to action

      Egger, Lotti; Ménard, Olivia; Delgado-Andrade, Cristina; Alvito, Paula; Assunção, Ricardo; Balance, Simon; Barberá, Reyes; Brodkorb, Andre; Cattenoz, Thomas; Clemente, Alfonso; et al. (Elsevier, 2015-12-08)
      Within the active field of in vitro digestion in food research, the COST Action INFOGEST aimed to harmonize in vitro protocols simulating human digestion on the basis of physiologically inferred conditions. A harmonized static in vitro digestion (IVD) method was recently published as a primary output from this network. To validate this protocol, inter-laboratory trials were conducted within the INFOGEST network. A first study was performed using skim milk powder (SMP) as a model food and served to compare the different in-house digestion protocols used among the INFOGEST members. In a second inter-laboratory study applying the harmonized protocol, the degree of consistency in protein hydrolysis was investigated. Analysis of the hydrolyzed proteins, after the gastric and intestinal phases, showed that caseins were mainly hydrolyzed during the gastric phase, whereas β-lactoglobulin was, as previously shown, resistant to pepsin. Moreover, generation of free amino acids occurred mainly during the intestinal phase. The study also showed that a few critical steps were responsible for the remaining inter-laboratory variability. The largest deviations arose from the determination of pepsin activity. Therefore, this step was further clarified, harmonized, and implemented in a third inter-laboratory study. The present work gives an overview of all three inter-laboratory studies, showing that the IVD INFOGEST method has led to an increased consistency that enables a better comparability of in vitro digestion studies in the future.
    • INFOGEST static in vitro simulation of gastrointestinal food digestion

      Brodkorb, Andre; Egger, Lotti; Alminger, Marie; Alvito, Paula; Assuncao, Ricardo; Balance, Simon; Bohn, Torsten; Bourlieu-Lacanal, Claire; Boutrou, Rachel; Carriere, Frederic; et al. (Nature Publishing Group, 2019-03-18)
      Developing a mechanistic understanding of the impact of food structure and composition on human health has increasingly involved simulating digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract. These simulations have used a wide range of different conditions that often have very little physiological relevance, and this impedes the meaningful comparison of results. The standardized protocol presented here is based on an international consensus developed by the COST INFOGEST network. The method is designed to be used with standard laboratory equipment and requires limited experience to encourage a wide range of researchers to adopt it. It is a static digestion method that uses constant ratios of meal to digestive fluids and a constant pH for each step of digestion. This makes the method simple to use but not suitable for simulating digestion kinetics. Using this method, food samples are subjected to sequential oral, gastric and intestinal digestion while parameters such as electrolytes, enzymes, bile, dilution, pH and time of digestion are based on available physiological data. This amended and improved digestion method (INFOGEST 2.0) avoids challenges associated with the original method, such as the inclusion of the oral phase and the use of gastric lipase. The method can be used to assess the endpoints resulting from digestion of foods by analyzing the digestion products (e.g., peptides/amino acids, fatty acids, simple sugars) and evaluating the release of micronutrients from the food matrix. The whole protocol can be completed in ~7 d, including ~5 d required for the determination of enzyme activities.