The aim of the Food Chemistry & Technology Department is to help food processors maintain competitive advantage and secure premium markets. Our Dairy research focuses on cheese, infant formula and dairy based ingredients; Meat research, focusing on quality, whole chain management and recovering value from meat processing streams; Cereal research focusing on product quality and innovation in the bakery industry

Recent Submissions

  • Extraction of plant protein from green leaves: Biomass composition and processing considerations

    Pérez-Vila, Sara; Fenelon, Mark; O'Mahony, James A.; Gómez Gómez-Mascaraque, Laura; Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Programme; 2020032 (Elsevier BV, 2022-12)
    There is an increasing need to explore alternative sources of proteins for food applications. Green leaves contain high levels of the enzyme RuBisCO, representing a source of protein with good functional and nutritional properties. However, the optimal conditions for extraction and purification of RuBisCO at a large scale have not yet been defined. This review discusses the main factors affecting the extraction of proteins from green leaves, from plant composition in terms of protein content and other compounds that affect the yield and quality of extractable protein, to the essential steps and challenges faced during extraction and purification, including considerations for achieving food-grade ingredient status. There are some key factors to consider when developing a protein concentrate for human consumption. The first step is the selection of an optimal raw material; plant tissues are complex matrices that require thorough characterization, including non-protein nitrogen and other undesirable compounds. The effect of the extraction and purification process on functionality, oxidation and proteolytic stability should also be considered. Moreover, the appropriate removal of undesired compounds must be considered to obtain plant protein concentrates suitable for food products.
  • Characteristics of traditional Chinese acidic rice soup (rice-acid) prepared with different fermentation methods

    Liu, Na; Qin, Likang; Pan, Jihong; Miao, Song; National Natural Science Foundation of China; Technology platform and talent team plan of Guizhou; Graduate Research Fund Project of Guizhou; Industry-University-Research Cooperation Project of Guizhou; China Scholarship Council; 32060530; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-11-25)
    Rice-acid, a Chinese traditional acidic rice soup (rice-acid), is widely accepted by consumers due to its unique flavor and anti-oxidation, anti-aging and immunity enhancement functions. This study confirmed that L-lactic acid and malic acid were the main organic acids in rice-acid. Low-temperature rice-acid samples produced by enterprises had the highest signal intensity of sour taste. The total content of free amino acids in different fermented rice-acid samples were in the range of 0.003–0.468 mg/g. 42 key volatile flavor compounds were identified in rice-acid. 8 volatile compounds with a higher contribution to the aroma of rice-acid were respectively acetic acid, 1-octen-3-ol, 2-heptanol, ethyl acetate, propyl propionate, hexanal, nonanal, and 2,3-butanedione. The interaction between lactic acid bacteria (3.00 × 103–7.02 × 106 CFU/mL) and yeasts (5.04 × 104–2.25 × 108 CFU/mL) affected the formation of taste and aroma components in rice-acid. The physicochemical characteristics including titratable acidity, pH, reducing sugars, amino acid nitrogen, gamma-aminobutyric acid showed significant differences between low-temperature fermentation samples and high-temperature fermentation samples. In addition, relationships linking all data through Pearson coefficient correlation were also reported. In summary, the study can be used to improve the quality of rice-acid products.
  • Characterization and gelling properties of a bioactive extract from Ascophyllum nodosum obtained using a chemical-free approach

    Gómez-Mascaraque, Laura G.; Martínez-Sanz, Marta; Martínez-López, Rosalia; Martínez-Abad, Antonio; Panikuttira, Bhavya; López-Rubio, Amparo; Tuohy, Maria G.; Hogan, Sean A.; Brodkorb, Andre; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-05-29)
    The bioactivity and gelling properties of a carbohydrate-rich algal extract obtained from locally harvested Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed using a chemical-free approach were investigated for its potential interest in food applications. Physicochemical characterisation and compositional analysis of the extract, using FTIR, biochemical methods and monosaccharide analysis, confirmed the presence of alginates and fucoidans, although the main polysaccharide present in it was laminarin. Significant amounts of phenolic compounds (~9 ​mg phloroglucinol/100 ​mg sample) were also detected. As a result, the extract exhibited good antioxidant activity. It also showed promising prebiotic potential, promoting the growth of beneficial Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacteria sp. when compared with commercial prebiotics, but not that of pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli or P. aeruginosa. The gelling properties of the raw extract were explored to optimize hydrogel bead formation by external gelation in CaCl2 solutions. This was enhanced at neutral to alkaline pHs and high extract and CaCl2 concentrations. The mechanical strength, nano- and microstructure of the hydrogel beads prepared under optimised conditions were determined using compression tests, synchrotron small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It was concluded that the raw algal extract at neutral pH had potential for use as a gelling agent, although further enrichment with alginate improved the mechanical properties of the obtained gels. The advantages and disadvantages of applying the non-purified algal extract in comparison with purified carbohydrates are discussed.
  • Kinetic modelling of ultrasound-assisted extraction of phenolics from cereal brans

    Milićević, Nataša; Kojić, Predrag; Sakač, Marijana; Mišan, Aleksandra; Kojić, Jovana; Perussello, Camila; Banjac, Vojislav; Pojić, Milica; Tiwari, Brijesh K; European Union; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-11-30)
    Cereal brans are by‐products of the milling of cereal grains, which are mainly used as low value ingredients in animal feed. Wheat and oat bran is a rich source of bioactives and phytochemicals, especially phenolic compounds. Within this study, the application of ultrasound (US) technology to assist the extraction of phenolics from oat and wheat bran was investigated (20–45 kHz). Peleg’s mathematical model was used to study the kinetics of ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and subsequent stirring of total phenolic compounds (TPC). The surface morphology of cereal brans after extraction was studied using SEM analysis. The excellent agreement was determined between the values of TPC calculated from Peleg’s mathematical model and actual experimental results. The constant that represents a time required for the initial phenolic concentration to be extracted to one-half of its initial value has been introduced (K1/2). It was shown that the TPC extraction kinetics was dependent only on K1/2 enabling fast kinetics fitting and comparison between extraction rates. Moreover, different values of K1/2 constant could indicate the differences in brans composition and consequently different influence of US pretreatment on these samples.
  • Tannin-rich extracts improve the performance of amidated pectin as an alternative microencapsulation matrix to alginate

    Molino, Silvia; Rufián Henares, José Ángel; Gómez Gómez-Mascaraque, Laura; Teagasc; European Research Commission; University of Granada; N 816303 (Elsevier, 2022-12-31)
    Microencapsulation of tannin extracts through extrusion-gelation method was performed comparing two alternative encapsulation matrices: alginate and amidated pectin. The microstructure of the generated microbeads was studied, as well as their microencapsulation efficiency and release properties. Overall, pectin-based beads performed better than their alginate-based counterparts. This, combined with a greater incorporation of tannins in the feed formulations led to a higher tannin load in the final beads. The best microencapsulation efficiency was given by pectin microbeads loaded with 10% tannin extract (w/w), but the final tannin content could be further increased by adding a 20% (w/w) concentration of the extracts. During a 14-days storage, only a marginal loss of tannins was recorded for pectin-based microbeads. The results reveal that great potential exists in producing pectin-based microbeads in presence of tannins, which allow better loading capacities and improving structural properties, thanks to the interactions between the tannins and the amidated polysaccharide.
  • Influence of particle size on the physicochemical properties and stickiness of dairy powders

    Haque, Md Kamrul; Kennedy, Deirdre; Laffir, Fathima R.; Hogan, Sean; O'Mahony, James A.; Murphy, Eoin G.; Enterprise Ireland; TC/2014/0016 (Elsevier, 2019-11-30)
    The compositional and physicochemical properties of different whey permeate (WPP), demineralised whey (DWP) and skim milk powder (SMP) size fractions were investigated. Bulk composition of WPP and DWP was significantly (P < 0.05) influenced by powder particle size; smaller particles had higher protein and lower lactose contents. Microscopic observations showed that WPP and DWP contained both larger lactose crystals and smaller amorphous particles. Bulk composition of SMP did not vary with particle size. Surface composition of the smallest SMP fraction (<75 μm) showed significantly lower protein (−9%) and higher fat (+5%) coverage compared with non-fractionated powders. For all powders, smaller particles were more susceptible to sticking. Hygroscopicity of SMP was not affected by particle size; hygroscopicity of semi-crystalline powders was inversely related to particle size. This study provides insights into differences between size fractions of dairy powders, which can potentially impact the sticking/caking behaviour of fine particles during processing.
  • Solubility of carbon dioxide in renneted casein matrices: Effect of pH, salt, temperature, partial pressure, and moisture to protein ratio

    Lamichhane, Prabin; Sharma, Prateek; Kelly, Alan L.; Risbo, Jens; Rattray, Fergal P.; Sheehan, Diarmuid (JJ); Dairy Levy Trust Fund; Ornua; Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Programme; RMIS 6259 (Elsevier BV, 2021-01)
    The solubility of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the moisture and protein components of cheese matrices and the influence of changing pH, salt and temperature levels remains unclear. In this study, model casein matrices were prepared, by renneting of micellar casein concentrate (MCC), with modulation of salt and pH levels by adding salt and glucono delta-lactone, respectively, to the MCC solutions prior to renneting. Different moisture-to-protein levels were achieved by freeze-drying, incubation of samples at different relative humidities, or by applying varying pressures during gel manufacture. The CO2 solubility of samples decreased linearly with both increasing temperature and salt-in-moisture content, whereas solubility of CO2 increased with increasing pH. A non-linear relationship was observed between CO2 solubility and the moisture-to-protein ratio of experimental samples. Overall, such knowledge may be applied to improve the quality and consistency of eye-type cheese, and in particular to avoid development of undesirable slits and cracks.
  • The type of gum arabic affects interactions with soluble pea protein in complex coacervation

    Comunian, Talita A.; Archut, Artwin; Gomez-Mascaraque, Laura G.; Brodkorb, Andre; Drusch, Stephan; Marie Skłodowska-Curie; Science Foundation Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine; European Union; 754380; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2022-11)
    Complex coacervation is an encapsulation process involving two oppositely charged biopolymers. Since different compositions of gum arabic may affect its interaction with protein, we studied the complex coacervation of two types of gum arabic (GA) (Acacia senegal-GA1 and Acacia seyal-GA2) with soluble pea protein (SPP) through Zeta potential, turbidity, morphology, the secondary structure of SPP, UV/vis absorbance and thermodynamic parameters. The maximum formation of coacervates occurred at SPP:GA 3:1 (w/w) and pH 3.5–4.0 with changes in the secondary structure of SPP. GA1 combination resulted in higher binding constant, implying a stronger affinity between SPP and GA1. Entropy of 0.7 and 0.5 kJ/mol.K, and enthalpy of −151 and −95.5 kJ/mol were obtained for SPP:GA1 and SPP:GA2. The complex coacervation was spontaneous as proved by the negative values of the Gibbs free energy. GA1 resulted in stronger interactions with SPP, offering new alternatives for encapsulation of bioactive compounds.
  • Irish research response to dairy quality in an era of change

    O'Brien, Bernadette J.; Beresford, Tom; Cotter, Paul D.; Gleeson, D.; Kelly, A.; Kilcawley, Kieran; Magan, J.; McParland, Sinead; Murphy, E.; O’Callaghan, Tom; et al. (Teagasc, 2022-02-26)
    The Irish dairy sector is recognised for its very significant contribution to the national economic status; it is now worth ∼€5 billion annually and represents the largest food and drink export category, which, in turn, represents one of the four largest manufacturing industries in the country. Given anticipated further growth in global demand for dairy products and the positive attributes and capabilities that Ireland has to meet that demand, in terms of pasture-based production and cost competitiveness, it is incumbent for the sector to attain the highest quality milk and dairy products. The combined collaborative approach between research and industry has ensured significant progress and enabled Ireland to remain at the forefront globally in terms of production of quality milk and dairy products. This paper highlights some specific scientific platforms and technologies currently shaping the industry in this regard and discusses current research activity as well as anticipating key requirements for future progress. While research, and farm and processing plant management have accomplished very significant advances in milk and dairy product quality, some overarching emerging challenges include product substitution and sustainability. Some key pillars for the future have been identified on which a strong, efficient dairy sector can be maintained and progressed. Specifically, the use of evidence-based information and real-time measures in prediction and decision-making will be a crucial pillar for the dairy sector of the future. This can promote an approach of proactive maintenance and optimisation of production through improved predictability and control of manufacturing processes.
  • Enhancing muscle fatty acid profile by pasture finishing within a dairy-origin calf-to-steer beef production system and its potential to authenticate the dietary history of the cattle

    Moloney, Aidan; Keane, Michael G.; Monahan, F. J.; O'Callaghan, Tom (Teagasc, 2021-11-18)
    The influence of modifying a traditional 24-mo dairy steer calf to beef production system on the fatty acid composition of the longissimus muscle and its potential to authenticate beef provenance was examined. Fifty-four male calves (n = 18 per sire breed), progeny of Holstein-Friesian cows mated with Holstein-Friesian (HF), Aberdeen Angus (AA) and Belgian Blue (BB) bulls were at pasture from March until August of their second year when they were assigned to a 3 (breed types) × 3 (finishing strategies) factorial experiment. The three finishing strategies were (i) pasture only for a further 94 d prior to slaughter (21 mo of age) (Grass), (ii) concentrates ad libitum indoors for 94 d prior to slaughter (21 mo of age) (EC) and (iii) pasture only for a further 94 d followed by concentrates ad libitum indoors for 98 d prior to slaughter (24 mo of age) (LC). Compared to EC, muscle from Grass had a lower intramuscular fat concentration and omega-6: omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) ratio and higher proportion of conjugated linoleic acid. A longer period at pasture pre-concentrate finishing increased the concentration of omega-3 PUFA which was still lower than in Grass. To maximise the omega-3 PUFA concentration, a late-maturing breed is more appropriate while to maximise conjugated linoleic acid, an early-maturing breed is more appropriate and both should be finished on grass. Chemometric analysis confirmed that the fatty acid profile can authenticate “Grass-Finished” beef per se and has potential to distinguish “Concentrate-Finished” beef based on the length of grazing prior to finishing, but not distinguish between sire breeds.
  • Gerry Downey: an authentic spectroscopist

    Davies, A. N.; Downey, Gerard (2021-12-16)
    This year has seen the retirement of Gerry Downey from active service with the Irish National Agriculture and Food Research Institute, Teagasc1 in Dublin. As one of Europe’s leading innovative spectroscopic chemometricians and a great positive personality to have as a project partner, we thought it appropriate to dedicate a column to Gerry’s career, however embarrassed he may be about the idea!
  • Screening of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Microalgae Food Supplements

    Martín-Girela, Isabel; Albero, Beatriz; Tiwari, Brijesh K.; Miguel, Esther; Aznar, Ramón; European Union; EAPA_338/2016 (MDPI AG, 2020-05-20)
    The frenetic lifestyle in the developed countries has driven us to be deficient in some nutrients, which may be overcome by supplements. Microalgae, like spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) and chlorella (Chlorella ssp.) are widely used as supplements due to their high contents of macroand micronutrients. Chlorella and spirulina can be grown naturally in a range of water bodies, showing their high adaptability to harsh environments. They are mainly produced in countries with poor water quality and sometimes inexistent water legislation, which can be a vector of micropollutant introduction into the food chain. Thus, a method for the simultaneous determination of 31 emerging contaminants commonly found as micropollutants in freshwater (pharmaceutical and personal care products, hormones, flame retardants and biocides) in two microalgae is presented. Target contaminants were extracted from the microalgae employing ultrasound-assisted matrix solid-phase dispersion followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. The method was validated for chlorella and spirulina with recoveries ranging from 70% to 111% at concentrations of 25 and 100 ng·g −1 , and good linearity in the range from 5 to 400 ng·g −1 with limits of detection below 2.5 ng·g −1 , in both microalgae. The method validated was applied to a range of microalgae supplement foods and the results proved that the compounds studied were below limits of detection.
  • Immunoglobulin G from bovine milk primes intestinal epithelial cells for increased colonization of bifidobacteria

    Morrin, Sinead T.; McCarthy, Geoffrey; Kennedy, Deirdre; Marotta, Mariarosaria; Irwin, Jane A.; Hickey, Rita M.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 2014058 (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-06-18)
    A bovine colostrum fraction (BCF) was recently shown to enhance the adherence of several commensal organisms to intestinal epithelial cells through modulating the epithelial cell surface. In this study, the main components of the BCF were examined to investigate the active component/s responsible for driving the changes in the intestinal cells. The adherence of various bifdobacteria to HT-29 cells was increased when the intestinal cells were pre-incubated with immunoglobulin G (IgG). Modulation of the intestinal cells by IgG was concentration dependent with 16 mg/ mL IgG resulting in a 43-fold increase in the adhesion of Bifdobacterium longum NCIMB 8809 to HT-29 cells. Periodate treatment of colostral IgG prior to performing the colonization studies resulted in a reduction in the adhesion of the strain to the intestinal cells demonstrating that the glycans of IgG may be important in modulating the intestinal cells for enhanced commensal adhesion. IgG isolated from mature milk also resulted in signifcant increases in adhesion of the Bifdobacterium strains tested albeit at reduced levels (3.9-fold). The impact of IgG on the HT-29 cells was also visualised via scanning electron microscopy. This study builds a strong case for the inclusion of IgG ingredients sourced from cow’s milk in functional foods aimed at increasing numbers of health promoting bacteria in the human gut.
  • Effect of storage, food processing and novel extraction technologies on onions flavonoid content: A review

    Ren, Feiyue; Nian, Yingqun; Perussello, Camila A.; Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine; FIRM 06/NITARFC6 (Elsevier, 2020-06-30)
    Onions play an important part in the daily diet for most populations around the world owing to their nutritional composition and their unique capacity to naturally flavor dishes. Onions contain quercetin and its derivatives - the predominant flavonoid in onions that exert a great contribution to the effective bioactive properties of onion, including its derived products. The present paper comprehensively reviewed flavonoids (with a specific focus on quercetin in onions): their chemical composition, distribution, bioactivities in onion, and impacting factors with a focus on how they can be affected by various post-harvest conditions (storage and food processing). In addition, research on the extraction of flavonoid compounds from onions using a number of novel technologies was also reviewed.
  • Development of a dehydrated fortified food base from fermented milk and parboiled wheat, and comparison of its composition and reconstitution behavior with those of commercial dried dairy‐cereal blends

    Shevade, Ashwini V.; O'Callaghan, Yvonne C.; O'Brien, Nora M.; O'Connor, Thomas P.; Guinee, Timothy P.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 14/F/805 (Wiley, 2019-10-15)
    Dehydrated blends of milk and cereal are reconstituted and consumed as a nutritious soup or porridge in many regions; the composition and reconstitution behavior of the blends are likely to impact on nutritional quality and consumer acceptability of the soup/porridge. Experimental samples of dried fermented milk‐bulgur wheat blend (FMBW) and commercial samples of dried dairy‐cereal blends, namely kishk, tarhana, and super cereal plus corn–soy blend (SCpCSB) were compared for composition, color, water sorption, and reconstitution characteristics. FMBW blends had higher contents of protein, Ca, lactose and lactic acid, lower levels of salt (NaCl) and Fe, and a lighter, more‐yellow color (higher L* and b*‐color co‐ordinates) than tarhana or kishk. Compared with SCpCSB, FMBW had numerically higher levels of protein, lactose, and lactic acid, lower levels of Ca, Fe, Zn, and Mg, and lower pH. Tarhana had highest mean levels of starch, and on reconstitution (133 g/kg) had highest water holding capacity, viscosity during pasting and cooling, yield stress (σ0), consistency coefficient (K), and viscosity on shearing from 20 to 120 s −1 at 60°C. Reconstituted FMBW, kishk, and SCpCSB had similar pasting and flow behavior properties. Overall, the composition (starch, protein, Ca, Mg), pasting and flow behavior characteristics of FMBW were closer to those SCpCSB and kishk than to tarhana. The results suggest that the FMBW powder, on appropriate supplementation with Ca, Fe, Zn and Mg, could be used for the development of customized fortified blended foods for specific groups.
  • Emerging Technologies for Aerial Decontamination of Food Storage Environments to Eliminate Microbial Cross-Contamination

    Oliveira, Márcia; Tiwari, Brijesh K; Duffy, Geraldine (MDPI AG, 2020-11-30)
    Air is recognized as an important source of microbial contamination in food production facilities and has the potential to contaminate the food product causing food safety and spoilage issues for the food industry. Potential for aerial microbial contamination of food can be a particular issue during storage in cold rooms when the food is not packaged and is exposed to contaminated air over a prolonged period. Thus, there are potential benefits for the food industry for an aerial decontamination in cold storage facilities. In this paper, aerial decontamination approaches are reviewed and challenges encountered for their applications are discussed. It is considered that current systems may not be completely e ective and environmentally friendly, therefore, it is of great significance to consider the development of nonresidual and verified decontamination technologies for the food industry and, in particular, for the cold storage rooms.
  • Effect of Cold Plasma on Meat Cholesterol and Lipid Oxidation

    Pérez-Andrés, Juan M.; Cropotova, Janna; Harrison, Sabine M.; Brunton, Nigel P.; Cullen, Patrick J.; Rustad, Turid; Tiwari, Brijesh K; European Union; Project ProHealth; Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Programme; et al. (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020-12-01)
    Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) is a novel non-thermal technology with potential applications in inactivating microorganisms in food products. However, its impact on food quality is not yet fully understood. The aim of this research is to study the impact of in-package plasma technology on the stability of cholesterol and total lipid in four different types of meat (beef, pork, lamb and chicken breast). Additionally, any changes in the primary or secondary lipid oxidation, which is undesirable from a health perspective, is investigated. CAP was not found to have any impact on the cholesterol or lipid content. However, higher peroxide and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) values were found for the treated samples, indicating that plasma can induce the acceleration of primary and secondary lipid oxidation. Finally, color was not affected by the treatment supporting the suitability of the technology for meat products.
  • Effect of Dextrose Equivalent on Maltodextrin/Whey Protein Spray-Dried Powder Microcapsules and Dynamic Release of Loaded Flavor during Storage and Powder Rehydration

    Li, Kaixin; Pan, Bowen; Ma, Lingjun; Miao, Song; Ji, Junfu; National Key R&D Program of China; China Agricultural University; Teagasc; 2018YFC160220 (MDPI, 2020-12-17)
    The preparation of powdered microcapsules of flavor substances should not only protect these substances from volatilization during storage but also improve their di usion during use. This study aimed to investigate the e ects of maltodextrin (MD) with di erent dextrose equivalent (DE) values on retention of flavor substances during storage, and the dynamic release of flavor substances during dissolution. MDs with three di erent DE values and whey protein isolate were mixed in a ratio of 4:1 as wall materials to encapsulate ethyl acetate, and powdered microcapsules were prepared by spray drying. It was proved that MD could reduce the di usion of flavor substances under di erent relative humidity conditions through the interaction between core material and wall material. During dissolution, MD released flavor substances quickly owing to its superior solubility. The reconstituted emulsion formed after the powder dissolved in water recaptured flavor substances and made the system reach equilibrium. This study explored the mechanism of flavor release during the storage and dissolution of powder microcapsules and should help us understand the application of powder microcapsules in food systems.
  • In vitro–in vivo Validation of Stimulatory Effect of Oat Ingredients on Lactobacilli

    Duysburgh, Cindy; Van den Abbeele, Pieter; Kamil, Alison; Fleige, Lisa; De Chavez, Peter John; Chu, YiFang; Barton, Wiley; O’Sullivan, Orla; Cotter, Paul D.; Quilter, Karina; et al. (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021-02-19)
    The prebiotic activity of a commercially available oat product and a novel oat ingredient, at similar -glucan loads, was tested using a validated in vitro gut model (M-SHIME®). The novel oat ingredient was tested further at lower -glucan loads in vitro, while the commercially available oat product was assessed in a randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled, and cross-over human study. Both approaches focused on healthy individuals with mild hypercholesterolemia. In vitro analysis revealed that both oat products strongly stimulated Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae in the intestinal lumen and the simulated mucus layer, and corresponded with enhanced levels of acetate and lactate with cross-feeding interactions leading to an associated increase in propionate and butyrate production. The in vitro prebiotic activity of the novel oat ingredient remained at lower -glucan levels, indicating the prebiotic potential of the novel oat product. Finally, the stimulation of Lactobacillus spp. was confirmed during the in vivo trial, where lactobacilli abundance significantly increased in the overall population at the end of the intervention period with the commercially available oat product relative to the control product, indicating the power of in vitro gut models in predicting in vivo response of the microbial community to dietary modulation.
  • Advances of plant-based structured food delivery systems on the in vitro digestibility of bioactive compounds

    Comunian, Talita Aline; Drusch, Stephan; Brodkorb, Andre; Research Leaders 2025 programme; European Union; Science Foundation Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Teagasc; 754380; 16/RC/3835 (Taylor & Francis, 2021-03-27)
    Food researchers are currently showing a growing interest in in vitro digestibility studies due to their importance for obtaining food products with health benefits and ensuring a balanced nutrient intake. Various bioactive food compounds are sensitive to the digestion process, which results in a lower bioavailability in the gut. The main objective of structured food delivery systems is to promote the controlled release of these compounds at the desired time/place, in addition to protecting them during digestion processes. This review provides an overview of the influence of structured delivery systems on the in vitro digestive behavior. The main delivery systems are summarized, the pros and cons of different structures are outlined, and examples of several studies that optimized the use of these structured systems are provided. In addition, we have reviewed the use of plant-based systems, which have been of interest to food researchers and the food industry because of their health benefits, improved sustainability as well as being an alternative for vegetarian, vegan and consumers suffering from food allergies. In this context, the review provides new insights and comprehensive knowledge regarding the influence of plant-based structured systems on the digestibility of encapsulated compounds and proteins/polysaccharides used in the encapsulation process.

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