The fate of food in the digestive tract
The digestive tract is an extraordinary tool for transforming matter. As it is highly compact and adaptable, it ensures the transformation of ingested foods into nutrients that can be absorbed by our digestive mucosa through mechanical, chemical, biochemical and biological processes. INRA currently possesses a combination of knowledge and tools that make it possible to integrate all of these events to create an in silico model of the fate of food in the digestive tract.
General aim of the programme
What is the role of the "structure" of a food at different scales, on the availability kinetics of "molecules of interest" during digestion, and what are their effects on humans?
The breakdown/re-assembly mechanisms of food matrices and of their constituents in the digestive tract, associated with the physiological effects of target molecules of interest.
Thematic structuring into three axes, integrating modelling: the matrix and the physiological targets of food; breakdown/re-assembly; tool development
Objectives by thematic axis
• Axis 1: Food matrices and physiological targets
How to structure a food in order to increase its sensory and nutritional properties?
Exploring structure effects through "data mining" and enriching the "food" database
• Axis 2: Breakdown of food in the digestive tract
What are the effects of food composition/structure on the kinetics of food bolus formation and digestion? Can they be modelled/predicted?
Priority 2: From what exists towards more complexity (model food vs. complex food/food intake)
Priority 3: Understanding the food/microbiota relationship. What is the role of the food (protective vs. selective) in the adaptation of the ecosystem to the host?
• Axis 3: Tool development
What methods and tools should be shared to monitor bioactive molecules in digestates and to identify "key" mechanisms?
Priority 4: Evolution over space and time: Enzymatic kinetics in a heterogeneous environment.
Obtaining efficient tools: sensors, imagery, analytical techniques, digestors and databases
26 July 2011
14 September 2012
Contact: Programme coordinators
Science and Technology of Milk and Egg INRA - AgroCampus Ouest
Food Process Engineering & Microbiology INRA - AgroParisTech