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Nahrung. 2003 Apr;47(2):87-94.

In vitro study on digestion of peptides in Emmental cheese: analytical evaluation and influence on angiotensin I converting enzyme inhibitory peptides.

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Laboratoire de Recherche en GĂ©nie Industriel Alimentaire, Rue Henri de Boissieu, F-01060 Bourg-en-Bresse, France.


A simple in vitro protocol simulating gastrointestinal digestion of proteins and peptides to investigate the effect of digestive enzymes on the biological activity of peptides present in dairy products was developed. This protocol consisted in a 30 min incubation with pepsin followed by a 4 h incubation with trypsin or pancreatin. It was applied to an Emmental cheese water-soluble extract (WSE) and to a casein solution (as a control). Sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) allowed to monitor the digestion of proteins. Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) allowed to monitor the conversion of proteins and peptides into peptides and amino acids: it is proposed to use the mean retention time corresponding to the overall retention time distribution of molecules to assess the effect of digestive enzymes. The biological activity focused in this study was the angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity. Digestion of Emmental WSE induced an increase of the ACE inhibition as compared to undigested WSE while a 10 kDa ultrafiltered WSE lost a part of its ACE inhibitory activity after digestion process. These results strongly suggest that digestive enzymes diminished the ACE inhibition by the peptides present in Emmental cheese WSE, while the digestion of peptides of high molecular weight would generate new ACE inhibitory peptides.

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