Bioaccessibility of Functional Ingredients
Aoife L. McCarthy and Nora M. O’Brien
Affiliation: School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
Bioaccessibility is defined as the amount of a food constituent transferred to the micelle fraction after digestion
in the gut, when compared with the original amount of the constituent present in the food. Bioaccessible constituents may
be able to pass through the intestinal barrier and hence become bioavailable within the body. Bioaccessibility is
commonly determined by in vitro methods simulating the human digestion and is assumed to be a good starting point for
estimating potential bioavailability of a food constituent. The study of bioaccessibility of functional ingredients is necessary
in addition to studies on their potential beneficial nutritional effects. This review discusses the benefits and limitations
of methods used to assess bioaccessibility, in addition to factors affecting bioaccessiblity, both dietary and physiological.
Evidence regarding the bioaccessibility of specific functional ingredients, including carotenoids and flavonoids is
especially highlighted. Potential approaches to enhance bioaccessibility of functional ingredients are also discussed.
Keywords: Absorption, bioaccessibility, bioavailability, colloidal delivery systems, functional ingredients, in vitro digestion.
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