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J Agric Food Chem. 2019 May 2. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b01063. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of Starch on the Digestibility of Gluten under Different Thermal Processing Conditions.

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State Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety , Tianjin University of Science & Technology , 29 Thirteenth Road , Tianjin Economy and Technology Development Area, Tianjin 300457 , People's Republic of China.
Medical College , Nankai University , 38 Tongyan Road , Jinnan District, Tianjin 300350 , People's Republic of China.


Gluten and starch are the primary ingredients of wheat. The complex reaction between gluten and starch will occur during thermal food processing, which will affect digestibility. The effects of proteins on the digestibility of starch have been reported, but the effects of starch on the digestibility of proteins have not been well-researched. In this paper, the effects of starch on gluten digestion during the heating process were studied by the gluten-starch simulated system, and it was found that starch can enhance gluten digestion. When the complex of 1:1 gluten-starch is heated at 100 °C, the digestibility of gluten is higher and more low-molecular-weight peptides are produced. Results from the digestibility and digestion peptide mapping of the gluten-starch complex at different conditions showed that the addition of starch during processing enhanced the digestion performance of gluten. Meanwhile, the secondary structure, intrinsic fluorescence, and microscopic structure of the gluten-starch complex were investigated to understand the mechanism of the enhancement. The digestion performance is related to the secondary structure variation during the thermal processing caused by the hydration increase and disulfide bond reduction. The gluten-starch complex spatial structure is looser than gluten after heating, which could expose more protease cleavage sites. These results suggest that starch can protect gluten from aggregation in water and destroy the spatial structure of gluten with the assistance of heating, exposing more cleavage sites and enhancing gluten digestion.


digestibility; gluten; gluten−starch simulated system; interaction between gluten and starch; protein structure analysis; thermal processing


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