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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 31;55(22):8950-7. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Impact of fatty acyl composition and quantity of triglycerides on bioaccessibility of dietary carotenoids.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, The Ohio State University, 1787 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


A carotenoid-rich salad meal with varying amounts and types of triglycerides (TG) was digested using simulated gastric and small intestinal conditions. Xanthophylls (lutein and zeaxanthin) and carotenes (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lycopene) in chyme and micelle fraction were quantified to determine digestive stability and efficiency of micellarization (bioaccessibility). Micellarization of lutein (+zeaxanthin) exceeded that of alpha- and beta-carotenes, which was greater than that of lycopene for all test conditions. Micellarization of carotenes, but not lutein (+zeaxanthin), was enhanced (P < 0.05) by addition of TG (2.5% v/w) to the meal and was dependent on fatty acyl chain length in structured TG (c18:1 > c8:0 > c4:0). The degree of unsaturation of c18 fatty acyl chains in TG added to the salad purée did not significantly alter the efficiency of micellarization of carotenoids. Relatively low amounts of triolein and canola oil (0.5-1%) were required for maximum micellarization of carotenes, but more oil (approximately 2.5%) was required when TG with medium chain saturated fatty acyl groups (e.g., trioctanoin and coconut oil) was added to the salad. Uptake of lutein and beta-carotene by Caco-2 cells also was examined by exposing cells to micelles generated during the simulated digestion of salad purée with either triolein or trioctanoin. Cell accumulation of beta-carotene was independent of fatty acyl composition of micelles, whereas lutein uptake was slightly, but significantly, increased from samples with digested triolein compared to trioctanoin. The results show that the in vitro transfer of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lycopene from chyme to mixed micelles during digestion requires minimal (0.5-1%) lipid content in the meal and is affected by the length of fatty acyl chains but not the degree of unsaturation in TG. In contrast, fatty acyl chain length has limited if any impact on carotenoid uptake by small intestinal epithelial cells. These data suggest that the amount of TG in a typical meal does not limit the bioaccessibility of carotenoids.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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