Whey protein isolate modulates beta-carotene bioaccessibility depending on gastro-intestinal digestion conditions

Mohammed Iddir, Celal Degerli, Giulia Dingeo, Charles Desmarchelier, Thomas Schleeh, Patrick Borel, Yvan Larondelle, Torsten Bohn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Carotenoids are lipophilic phytochemicals; their intake has been associated with reduced chronic diseases. However, their absorption depends on emulsification during digestion and incorporation into mixed micelles, requiring digestive enzymes, gastric peristalsis, bile, and dietary lipids. In this study, we investigated whether whey-protein-isolate (WPI), a commonly consumed protein source, can modulate β-carotene bioaccessibility in vitro, especially under incomplete digestive conditions, i.e. under low digestive enzyme concentrations. Thus, amounts of pepsin, pancreatin, bile, co-digested lipids and kinetic energy and gastric digestion time were modified, and WPI at concentrations equivalent to 0/25/50% of the protein recommended dietary allowance (approx. 60 g/d) were added to β-carotene dissolved in oil. WPI enhanced bioaccessibility by up to 20% (p < 0.001), especially under higher simulated peristalsis or reduced amount of dietary lipids. Conversely, they impaired bioaccessibility to one third (p < 0.001) under incomplete digestive conditions. WPI modulated β-carotene bioaccessibility depending on digestive conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalFood Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Carotenoids
  • Digestion
  • Emulsion
  • Lipid droplets
  • Micellization
  • Peristalsis
  • Proteins


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