Veg for health! Polyphenol enriched snack foods to reduce glycaemic responses and drive changes in the microbiota

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office


Polyphenols have a range of potential health benefits, but little is known about the interaction of these molecules with dietary fibre, and how this alters digestion in the small intestine and the composition of the gut microbiota. Using state-of-the-art processing facilities at PesiCo polyphenol enriched snacks with high fibre will be manufactured, using innovative manufacturing techniques. These snacks will then be used in advanced models of human digestion based on biochemical models and cell culture systems to measure polyphenol release in the GI tract, and the effect this has on starch digestion through amylase and sucrase-isomaltase, as well as sugar adsorption through SGLT-1 and GLUT2. Initially aiming to understand how polyphenols and dietary fibre can be combined in a complex food to reduce glycaemic response. Secondly using a chemostat based model of the human colon to investigate the influence of polyphenols and fibre on the gut microbiota. This will involve 16S sequencing to analyse the microbial community as well as use of LC-MS to identify microbial fermentation products of polyphenols. This information will be used to design food products which have defined health benefits, through controlling food structure and bioactive content to control starch digestion and influence the microbiota.


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