July 09, 2018

10/07/2018: In Vitro measurement of Glycaemic Index and Resistant Starch using a simulated enzymatic digestion analyser

by Phillip Clancy, Next Instruments Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia

Eating food is the mechanism by which humans and animals obtain energy for maintaining the body’s functions and to build and replace tissues

Protein, carbohydrates, oil and water are the major components of foods. The gastrointestinal tract, i.e., the mouth, stomach, small intestines and large intestines, digests and ferments these compounds to produce amino acids, simple sugars and free fatty acids that pass through the walls of the small intestines into the blood stream.

The body’s cells absorb glucose to produce chemical energy and amino acids to produce proteins for building tissues. The liver processes fatty acids to form fat that is stored in the adipose tissues around the body as a source of energy in the future. The large intestines ferment the undigested food to form organic acids, which pass through the walls of the large intestines into the blood stream. These organic acids are used to generate energy through the Tri Carboxylic Acid or Krebs Cycle. The undigested components of food are predominantly fibre, which are complex long chain and branched carbohydrates that are not broken up by enzymes found in the small intestines. Only bacterial fermentation is able to break the fibrous material and convert the glucose and other sugars to organic acids including acetic acid, lactic acid and butyric acid.

The nutritional value of foods has become more important in the past 50 years since the western world has become overweight if not obese. The human body has evolved over millions of years based on the availability of foods. Since the industrial revolution, 2000 years ago, many foods eaten in the western world are highly processed to make them more easily packaged, stored and distributed.

Virtually overnight western society has changed the way foods are manufactured and distributed, yet the human body is still processing these foods the same way it has done for thousands of years.

Read the full article, HERE.

Visit the Next Instruments website, HERE.

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