Quantitative Characterization of Digestion Processes

  • Lotti EggerEmail author
  • Olivia Ménard
  • Reto Portmann


The growing interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms of digestive processes led to an increasing number of different in vivo and in vitro studies focusing on the understanding of food digestion and the physiological impacts on the human body. For this purpose, dedicated analytical methods were developed to characterize and quantify the different intermediate and final products of nutrient hydrolysis. However, one major issue is the comparability of analytical results between different experimental setups and individual labs. The COST action Infogest network ( specifically defined the experimental conditions and the corresponding enzymatic tests for a harmonized in vitro digestion protocol based on physiological data from literature. The new protocol increased the reproducibility of results between labs and between different studies. Moreover, the analytical methods developed in parallel, allow for the verification of the progress in nutrient hydrolysis and the variations between different experiments. This book chapter gives a short introduction on the in vitro digestion protocol and describes the analytical methods suited for the assessment of protein digestion during IVD. Moreover, methods for the quantification of lipids and carbohydrates are described. The final part of this chapter offers a selection of analytical results showing the relationship between food digestion and nutrition.


In vitro digestion Protein hydrolysis Bioactive peptides Essential amino acids Lipids Carbohydrates 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AgroscopeBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.STLO, UMR 1253, INRA, Agrocampus OuestRennesFrance

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