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An in vitro digestion method adapted for carotenoids and carotenoid esters: moving forward towards standardization

Rodrigues, Daniele Bobrowski, MariuttiPresent address: Department of Food and Nutrition, Faculty of Food Engineering, University of Campinas, Brazil., Lilian Regina Barros, Mercadante, Adriana Zerlotti
Food & function 2016 v.7 no.12 pp. 4992-5001
Byrsonima crassifolia, bile acids, bioavailability, carotenoids, centrifugation, electrolytes, enzymes, esters, food composition, fruits, in vitro digestion, isomerization, micelles, models, solvents, tandem mass spectrometry
In vitro digestion methods are a useful approach to predict the bioaccessibility of food components and overcome some limitations or disadvantages associated with in vivo methodologies. Recently, the INFOGEST network published a static method of in vitro digestion with a proposal for assay standardization. The INFOGEST method is not specific for any food component; therefore, we aimed to adapt this method to assess the in vitro bioaccessibility of carotenoids and carotenoid esters in a model fruit (Byrsonima crassifolia). Two additional steps were coupled to the in vitro digestion procedure, centrifugation at 20 000g for the separation of the aqueous phase containing mixed micelles and exhaustive carotenoid extraction with an organic solvent. The effect of electrolytes, enzymes and bile acids on carotenoid micellarization and stability was also tested. The results were compared with those found with a simpler method that has already been used for carotenoid bioaccessibility analysis. These values were in the expected range for free carotenoids (5–29%), monoesters (9–26%) and diesters (4–28%). In general, the in vitro bioaccessibility of carotenoids assessed by the adapted INFOGEST method was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those assessed by the simplest protocol, with or without the addition of simulated fluids. Although no trend was observed, differences in bioaccessibility values depended on the carotenoid form (free, monoester or diester), isomerization (Z/E) and the in vitro digestion protocol. To the best of our knowledge, it was the first time that a systematic identification of carotenoid esters by HPLC-DAD-MS/MS after in vitro digestion using the INFOGEST protocol was carried out.