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Influence of the Chlorophyll Pigment Structure on Its Transfer from an Oily Food Matrix to Intestinal Epithelium Cells

AuthorsGandul-Rojas, Beatriz ; Gallardo Guerrero, Lourdes ; Mínguez Mosquera, María Isabel
In vitro digestion
Caco-2 cells
Issue Date24-Jun-2009
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 57(12): 5306-5314 (2009)
AbstractChlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and the Mg-free chlorophyll derivatives pheophytin a, pheophytin b, pyropheophytin a, pheophorbide a, and pyropheophorbide a, dissolved in an oily matrix, were subjected to a simulated in vitro digestion procedure coupled with uptake by human intestinal Caco-2 cells. The native chlorophylls showed greater instability to the digestive process than the Mg-free chlorophyll derivatives. In addition to pheophytinization reactions, allomerization and oxidation to uncolored compounds were found to greater extents for the former. After digestion, the pigment dispersion degree in the colloid system (aqueous-“micellar” phase) showed significant differences (p < 0.05) among series a and series b derivatives. However, when a mixture of pheophytin a and pheophytin b was digested, there was a positive effect for pheophytin b. Both the dispersion degree and the accumulation rate by the Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells were significantly higher (p < 0.05) for dephytylated chlorophyll derivatives. Differences in the transport route were also found. Whereas phytylated chlorophyll derivatives showed passive absorption by simple diffusion, the dephytylated ones showed passive absorption by facilitated diffusion in the lower range of concentrations tested. These results showed that the structural modifications of the chlorophyll pigments, mainly the de-esterification of phytol, significantly increased—by an estimated 65-fold—its transfer from the food matrix to the intestinal epithelial cells during digestion, making it more bioaccessible. The possible relationship between the phototoxicity associated with pheophorbide and the high bioaccessibility demonstrated in this work is discussed.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf900426h
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