Designing food delivery systems: challenges related to the in vitro methods employed to determine the fate of bioactives in the gut

Food & Function
Elena ArranzAnilda Guri


An in depth understanding of the underpinning mechanisms that relate to food disruption and processing in the gastrointestinal tract is necessary to achieve optimal intake of nutrients and their bioefficacy. Although in vivo trials can provide insights on physiological responses of nutrients, in vitro assays are often applied as tools to understand specific mechanisms, or as prescreening methods to determine the factors associated with the uptake of food components in the gastrointestinal tract. In vitro assays are also often utilized to design novel or improved food delivery systems. In this review the available approaches to study delivery and uptake of food bioactives and the associated challenges are discussed. For an in depth understanding of food processing in the gastrointestinal tract, it is necessary to apply multidisciplinary methodologies, at the interface between materials science, chemistry, physics and biology.


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