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Development of an in vitro digestion method to assess carotenoid bioavailability from meals

Garrett, D.A., Failla, M.L., Sarama, R.J.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 1999 v.47 no.10 pp. 4301-4309
in vitro digestibility, digestion, assays, carrots, infant foods, spinach, chicken meat, beef, ham, tomatoes, bioavailability, lutein, lycopene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cell lines, intestines, humans, pancreatin, bile salts, tomato paste, food paste, micelles
The objective of this study was to develop a model for assessing the bioavailability of carotenoids from meals using an in vitro digestion procedure. A meal was prepared using baby food carrots, spinach, and a meat, plus tomato paste. The aqueous fraction was isolated from digesta to determine the quantity of carotenoids transferred from the food to micelles. The micellarization of lutein (25-40%) exceeded (p < 0.01) that of alpha- and beta-carotene (12-18%) and lycopene (<0.5%). Micellarization of carotenoids was not affected by elimination of the gastric phase of the digestive process. The absence of bile extract prevented the transfer of carotenoids from foods to micelles, whereas omission of pancreatin only reduced the micellarization of the carotenes. Differentiated cultures of Caco-2 human intestinal cells accumulated 28-46% of micellarized carotenoids from the medium after 6 h. These results support the usefulness of the in vitro digestion process as a rapid and cost-effective model for screening the bioavailability of carotenoids from meals.