Flow diagram of the INFOGEST 2.0 digestion method.
From: INFOGEST static in vitro simulation of gastrointestinal food digestion
Cathrina Edwards from the Quadram Institute contributed to a new standard method for simulating the digestion of food, which was published in the journal Nature Protocols in March 2019.
The method was developed by 27 different partner institutes collaborating in the EU-funded COST Action INFOGEST.
The method has been designed and validated as a tool for researchers wishing to understand how changes to the composition or structure of food affect its digestion in the body. It allows researchers to follow the simulated digestion of food at analyse the different steps, which is very hard to do in humans. It will allow researchers to measure the rate of digestion, find out where in the digestive system nutrients are released and allow a better assessment of the effect that altering structure has on these.
With levels of diet-related conditions across the globe, the researchers hope that the new method will be a vital tool in increasing our understanding how food interacts with the body.
It has been designed so that researchers can follow the protocol with minimal training using equipment and materials that are readily accessible to most laboratories.
The method is available from Nature Protocols, and a YouTube channel has also been developed to provide additional guidance for researchers.
Reference: INFOGEST static in vitro simulation of gastrointestinal food digestion, André Brodkorb et al, Nature Protocols doi: 10.1038/s41596-018-0119-1