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Role of Food Digestion and Digestive System in the Nutritional, Functional and Health Properties of Food Bioactives

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2023) | Viewed by 26256

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Madrid, Spain
Interests: functional foods; bioactivity; bioactive peptides; food proteins; food analysis; gastrointestinal tract; inflammation; food digestion; digestive health; chronic diseases
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Understanding the complex process of food digestion is an area of intense research due to its direct liaison with nutrition and health. Over the last few years, consumers have been paying more attention to how nutritional factors and the consumption of certain foods may impact human well-being as food components may display either beneficial or adverse effects in the digestive system and, therefore, in human health. Hence, our gastrointestinal tract is exposed to a large variety of food components once they are processed, released and, eventually, transported across the intestinal barrier. Food compounds are, thus, metabolized and subjected to different changes in the digestive system, and scientists working on functional foods aim to uncover this challenge to better determine the health implications of food bioactives.

While the simulation of the physiological conditions of the digestion process is a crucial step, there is growing evidence regarding the health impact of the modulation of digestive functions through dietary substances. Therefore, the goal of this Special Issue is to gather the latest research on the three-way interplay between the digestive system, the food matrix and composition during digestion, and the nutritional and functional properties of food bioactives, highlighting investigations applying model systems of food gastrointestinal digestion, absorption, bioavailability and gut microbiota, but also novel studies and future scientific trends about the nutritional and biological functions of digested food products and their bioactive molecules in health and disease.

Dr. Samuel Fernández-Tomé
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • food digestion
  • food bioactives
  • functional foods
  • gastrointestinal tract
  • digestive system
  • bioavailability
  • Nutritional compounds
  • Bioactivity assays
  • Mechanisms of action
  • Gut barrier and microbiota
  • Health benefits
  • Chronic diseases

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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5 pages, 214 KiB  
Editorial
Role of Food Digestion and Digestive System in the Nutritional, Functional and Health Properties of Food Bioactives
by Samuel Fernández-Tomé
Nutrients 2024, 16(5), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16050712 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1711
Abstract
The impact of food components on the human digestive system is an important area of research in the fields of nutrition and food science [...] Full article

Research

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16 pages, 2353 KiB  
Article
Impact of Grape Seed Powder and Black Tea Brew on Lipid Digestion—An In Vitro Co-Digestion Study with Real Foods
by Judit Tormási and László Abrankó
Nutrients 2023, 15(10), 2395; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15102395 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1721
Abstract
Effects of two foods with bioactive constituents (black tea brew, BTB and grape seed powder, GSP) on lipid digestibility was studied. Lipolysis inhibitory effect of these foods was examined using two test foods (cream and baked beef) with highly different fatty acid (FA) [...] Read more.
Effects of two foods with bioactive constituents (black tea brew, BTB and grape seed powder, GSP) on lipid digestibility was studied. Lipolysis inhibitory effect of these foods was examined using two test foods (cream and baked beef) with highly different fatty acid (FA) composition. Digestion simulations were performed either using both gastric and pancreatic lipase, or only with pancreatic lipase according to the Infogest protocol. Lipid digestibility was assessed based on the bioaccessible FAs. Results showed the triacylglycerols containing short- and medium-chain FAs (SCFA and MCFA) are non-preferred substrates for pancreatic lipase; however, this is not characteristic for GL. Our findings suggest that both GSP and BTB primarily affect the lipolysis of SCFAs and MCFAs, because the dispreference of pancreatic lipase towards these substrates was further enhanced as a result of co-digestion. Interestingly, GSP and BTB similarly resulted in significant decrease in lipolysis for cream (containing milk fat having a diverse FA profile), whereas they were ineffective in influencing the digestion of beef fat, having simpler FA profile. It highlights that the characteristics of the dietary fat source of a meal can be a key determinant on the observed extent of lipolysis when co-digested with foods with bioactive constituents. Full article
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12 pages, 2671 KiB  
Article
Peptidomic Characterization and Amino Acid Availability after Intake of Casein vs. a Casein Hydrolysate in a Pig Model
by Pablo Jiménez-Barrios, Laura Sánchez-Rivera, Daniel Martínez-Maqueda, Yann Le Gouar, Didier Dupont, Beatriz Miralles and Isidra Recio
Nutrients 2023, 15(5), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15051065 - 21 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1861
Abstract
It is known that casein hydrolysis accelerates gastrointestinal transit in comparison to intact casein, although the effect of the protein hydrolysis on the composition of the digests is not fully understood. The aim of this work is to characterize, at the peptidome level, [...] Read more.
It is known that casein hydrolysis accelerates gastrointestinal transit in comparison to intact casein, although the effect of the protein hydrolysis on the composition of the digests is not fully understood. The aim of this work is to characterize, at the peptidome level, duodenal digests from pigs, as a model of human digestion, fed with micellar casein and a previously described casein hydrolysate. In addition, in parallel experiments, plasma amino acid levels were quantified. A slower transit of nitrogen to the duodenum was found when the animals received micellar casein. Duodenal digests from casein contained a wider range of peptide sizes and a higher number of peptides above five amino acids long in comparison with the digests from the hydrolysate. The peptide profile was markedly different, and although β-casomorphin-7 precursors were also found in hydrolysate samples, other opioid sequences were more abundant in the casein digests. Within the same substrate, the evolution of the peptide pattern at different time points showed minimal changes, suggesting that the protein degradation rate relies more on the gastrointestinal location than on digestion time. Higher plasma concentrations of methionine, valine, lysine and amino acid metabolites were found in animals fed with the hydrolysate at short times (<200 min). The duodenal peptide profiles were evaluated with discriminant analysis tools specific for peptidomics to identify sequence differences between both substrates that can be used for future human physiological and metabolic studies. Full article
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14 pages, 1551 KiB  
Article
Release of Bioactive Peptides from Erythrina edulis (Chachafruto) Proteins under Simulated Gastrointestinal Digestion
by Jessica L Correa, José Edgar Zapata and Blanca Hernández-Ledesma
Nutrients 2022, 14(24), 5256; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14245256 - 9 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2319
Abstract
The estimated and concerning rise in world population over the next few years and the consequent increase in food demand will lead to a deterioration in global food security. To avoid or reduce this world crisis, informed and empowered consumers are turning to [...] Read more.
The estimated and concerning rise in world population over the next few years and the consequent increase in food demand will lead to a deterioration in global food security. To avoid or reduce this world crisis, informed and empowered consumers are turning to sustainable and nutrient-rich foods that substitute animal products, also reducing their associated environmental impact. Moreover, due to the demonstrated influence of diet on the risk of high incidence and mortality of noncommunicable diseases, the current established food pattern is focused on the consumption of foods that have functionality for health. Among these new foods, traditional and underutilized plants are gaining interest as alternative protein sources providing nutritional and biological properties. In this work, the potential of Erythrina edulis (chachafruto) proteins as a source of multifunctional peptides after transit through the gastrointestinal tract has been demonstrated, with antioxidant and immunostimulating effects in both biochemical assays and cell culture. While low molecular weight peptides released during the digestive process were found to be responsible for protection against oxidative stress mediated by their radical scavenging activity, high molecular weight peptides exerted immunostimulating effects by upregulation of immunoresponse-associated biomarkers. The findings of this study support the promising role of chachafruto proteins as a new antioxidant and immunostimulatory ingredient for functional foods and nutraceuticals. Full article
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11 pages, 2248 KiB  
Article
IgE-Binding and Immunostimulating Properties of Enzymatic Crosslinked Milk Proteins as Influenced by Food Matrix and Digestibility
by Sara Benedé, Mónica Martínez-Blanco, Rosina López-Fandiño and Elena Molina
Nutrients 2022, 14(21), 4584; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14214584 - 1 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1766
Abstract
Dairy foods are essential in the diet, although in some susceptible individuals they may cause allergy to cow’s milk proteins. Therefore, alternative methods are sought to reduce their allergenicity. Transglutaminase (TG) is widely used in dairy products mainly to improve texture. Although it [...] Read more.
Dairy foods are essential in the diet, although in some susceptible individuals they may cause allergy to cow’s milk proteins. Therefore, alternative methods are sought to reduce their allergenicity. Transglutaminase (TG) is widely used in dairy products mainly to improve texture. Although it has been claimed that TG can be used to modify the digestibility and allergenicity of foods, its impact within a real matrix has been rarely studied. The aim of this work was to assess the allergenic potential of crosslinked skim milk (SM), milk casein fraction (CN), and whey protein (WP). To this purpose, inhibition ELISA with sera from milk allergic patients, in vitro activation tests of mouse mast cells and splenocytes, and simulated gastrointestinal digestion assays were performed. The results showed that cross-linking increased the binding of IgE to WP, but decreased IgE-binding to SM and CN. However, no differences were observed in the ability of cross-linked proteins to induce mast cell degranulation compared to native proteins. The cross-linking of SM and CN reduced Th2 cytokine release from the splenocytes of sensitized mice. All TG-treated samples exhibited more resistance to in vitro digestion than the untreated proteins and the human IgE binding capacity after digestion was higher. In conclusion, TG treatment of milk proteins does not reduce the risk of eliciting allergic symptoms in cow’s milk allergic patients. Full article
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14 pages, 4965 KiB  
Article
Persimmon Proanthocyanidins with Different Degrees of Polymerization Possess Distinct Activities in Models of High Fat Diet Induced Obesity
by Ying Yu, Ping Chen, Xiaofang Li, Shanshan Shen and Kaikai Li
Nutrients 2022, 14(18), 3718; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14183718 - 9 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1643
Abstract
Proanthocyanidins is a kind of polyphenol that had been found with strong prevention ability on high fat diet induced obesity. However, whether proanthocyanidins with different polymerization degree showed different anti-obesity ability is unclear. Therefore, in this study, the effects of persimmon proanthocyanidins (P-PCs) [...] Read more.
Proanthocyanidins is a kind of polyphenol that had been found with strong prevention ability on high fat diet induced obesity. However, whether proanthocyanidins with different polymerization degree showed different anti-obesity ability is unclear. Therefore, in this study, the effects of persimmon proanthocyanidins (P-PCs) and persimmon oligo-proanthocyanidins (P-OPCs) on high-fat diet induced obesity were systematically investigated. The findings indicated that both of P-PCs and P-OPCs significantly reduced the body weight, and P-PCs showed stronger anti-obesity ability compared with P-OPCs, P-OPCs seemed with stronger ability on improvement of insulin resistance. Furthermore, gut microbiota results indicated that the composition of the gut microbiota was changed after P-PCs and P-OPCs intervention in C57BL/6J mice. In addition, P-PCs exhibited strong inhibitory on the digestion of starch and fat. Above all, this study indicated that P-PCs showed stronger anti-obesity ability compared with P-OPCs. Full article
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15 pages, 1846 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Digestibility of Minerals and B Group Vitamins from Different Brewers’ Spent Grains
by Anca Corina Fărcaș, Sonia Ancuța Socaci, Maria Simona Chiș, Javier Martínez-Monzó, Purificación García-Segovia, Anca Becze, Anamaria Iulia Török, Oana Cadar, Teodora Emilia Coldea and Marta Igual
Nutrients 2022, 14(17), 3512; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14173512 - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3070
Abstract
Brewers’ spent grain (BSG), the main by-product of the brewing industry, is a rich source of minerals and water-soluble vitamins such as thiamine, pyridoxine, niacin, and cobalamin. Bioaccessibility through in vitro digestion is an important step toward the complete absorption of minerals and [...] Read more.
Brewers’ spent grain (BSG), the main by-product of the brewing industry, is a rich source of minerals and water-soluble vitamins such as thiamine, pyridoxine, niacin, and cobalamin. Bioaccessibility through in vitro digestion is an important step toward the complete absorption of minerals and B group vitamins in the gastrointestinal system. Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) together with inductively coupled plasma quadrupole mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used for the quantification of the macro- and micro-minerals. An ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) system coupled with a diode array detector (DAD) was used for B group vitamin identification. Four different industrial BSG samples were used in the present study, with different percentages of malted cereals such as barley, wheat, and degermed corn. Calcium’s bioaccessibility was higher in the BSG4 sample composed of 50% malted barley and 50% malted wheat (16.03%), while iron presented the highest bioaccessibility value in the BSG2 sample (30.03%) composed of 65% Pale Ale malt and 35% Vienna malt. On the other hand, vitamin B1 had the highest bioaccessibility value (72.45%) in the BSG3 sample, whilst B6 registered the lowest bioaccessibility value (16.47%) in the BSG2 sample. Therefore, measuring the bioaccessibilty of bioactive BSG compounds before their further use is crucial in assessing their bioavailability. Full article
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19 pages, 3192 KiB  
Article
Impact of the Structural Modifications of Potato Protein in the Digestibility Process under Semi-Dynamic Simulated Human Gastrointestinal In Vitro System
by Luis Jiménez-Munoz, Emmanouil D. Tsochatzis and Milena Corredig
Nutrients 2022, 14(12), 2505; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14122505 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3534
Abstract
The raising consumer demand for plant-derived proteins has led to an increased production of alternative protein ingredients with varying processing histories. In this study, we used a commercially available potato protein ingredient with a nutritionally valuable amino acid profile and high technological functionality [...] Read more.
The raising consumer demand for plant-derived proteins has led to an increased production of alternative protein ingredients with varying processing histories. In this study, we used a commercially available potato protein ingredient with a nutritionally valuable amino acid profile and high technological functionality to evaluate if the digestibility of a suspension with the same composition is affected by differences in the structure. Four isocaloric (4% protein, w/w) matrices (suspension, gel, foam and heat-set foam) were prepared and their gastrointestinal fate was followed utilizing a semi-dynamic in vitro digestion model. The microstructure was observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy, protein breakdown was tested by electrophoresis and free amino acids after intestinal digestion was estimated using liquid chromatography/triple-quadruple-mass spectrometry (LC-TQMS). The heat-treated samples showed a higher degree of hydrolysis and lower trypsin inhibitory activity than the non-heat-treated samples. An in vitro digestible indispensable amino acid score was calculated based on experimental data, showing a value of 0.9 based on sulfur amino acids/valine as the limiting amino acids. The heated samples also showed a slower gastric emptying rate. The study highlights the effect of the food matrix on the distribution of the peptides created during various stages of gastric emptying. Full article
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Review

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23 pages, 4982 KiB  
Review
Bioactivity and Digestibility of Microalgae Tetraselmis sp. and Nannochloropsis sp. as Basis of Their Potential as Novel Functional Foods
by Samuel Paterson, Pilar Gómez-Cortés, Miguel Angel de la Fuente and Blanca Hernández-Ledesma
Nutrients 2023, 15(2), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15020477 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5801
Abstract
It is estimated that by 2050, the world’s population will exceed 10 billion people, which will lead to a deterioration in global food security. To avoid aggravating this problem, FAO and WHO have recommended dietary changes to reduce the intake of animal calories [...] Read more.
It is estimated that by 2050, the world’s population will exceed 10 billion people, which will lead to a deterioration in global food security. To avoid aggravating this problem, FAO and WHO have recommended dietary changes to reduce the intake of animal calories and increase the consumption of sustainable, nutrient-rich, and calorie-efficient products. Moreover, due to the worldwide rising incidence of non-communicable diseases and the demonstrated impact of diet on the risk of these disorders, the current established food pattern is focused on the consumption of foods that have functionality for health. Among promising sources of functional foods, microalgae are gaining worldwide attention because of their richness in high-value compounds with potential health benefits. However, despite the great opportunities to exploit microalgae in functional food industry, their use remains limited by challenges related to species diversity and variations in cultivation factors, changes in functional composition during extraction procedures, and limited evidence on the safety and bioavailability of microalgae bioactives. The aim of this review is to provide an updated and comprehensive discussion on the nutritional value, biological effects, and digestibility of two microalgae genera, Tetraselmis and Nannochloropsis, as basis of their potential as ingredients for the development of functional foods. Full article
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