Comparative resistance of food proteins to adult and infant in vitro digestion models

Didier Dupont, Giuseppina Mandalari, Daniel Molle, Julien Jardin, Joëlle Léonil, Richard M. Faulks, Martin S J Wickham, E. N Clare Mills, Alan R. Mackie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    IgE-mediated allergy to milk and egg is widespread in industrialised countries and mainly affects infants and young children. It may be connected to an incomplete digestion of dietary proteins causing an inappropriate immune response in the gut. In order to study this, a biochemical model of infant gastroduodenal digestion has been developed, which has reduced levels of protease (eightfold for pepsin and tenfold for trypsin and chymotrypsin), phosphatidylcholine and bile salts, compared with the adult model. This model has been used to study the behaviour of three characterised food-relevant proteins (bovine β-lactoglobulin (β-Lg), β-casein (β-CN) and hen's egg ovalbumin), all of which are relevant cows' milk and hens' egg allergens. Digestion products were characterised using electrophoresis, immunochemical techniques and MS. These showed that ovalbumin and β-CN were digested more slowly using the infant model compared with the adult conditions. Resistant fragments of β-CN were found in the infant model, which correspond to previously identified IgE epitopes. Surprisingly, β-Lg was more extensively degraded in the infant model compared with the adult one. This difference was attributed to the tenfold reduction in phosphatidylcholine concentration in the infant model limiting the protective effect of this phospholipid on β-Lg digestion. © 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)767-780
    Number of pages13
    JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


    • Egg
    • Food allergy
    • In vitro digestion
    • Milk
    • Phosphatidylcholine


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