A standardised static in vitro digestion method suitable for food - an international consensus
Journal article, 2014

Simulated gastro-intestinal digestion is widely employed in many fields of food and nutritional sciences, as conducting human trials are often costly, resource intensive, and ethically disputable. As a consequence, in vitro alternatives that determine endpoints such as the bioaccessibility of nutrients and non-nutrients or the digestibility of macronutrients (e. g. lipids, proteins and carbohydrates) are used for screening and building new hypotheses. Various digestion models have been proposed, often impeding the possibility to compare results across research teams. For example, a large variety of enzymes from different sources such as of porcine, rabbit or human origin have been used, differing in their activity and characterization. Differences in pH, mineral type, ionic strength and digestion time, which alter enzyme activity and other phenomena, may also considerably alter results. Other parameters such as the presence of phospholipids, individual enzymes such as gastric lipase and digestive emulsifiers vs. their mixtures (e. g. pancreatin and bile salts), and the ratio of food bolus to digestive fluids, have also been discussed at length. In the present consensus paper, within the COST Infogest network, we propose a general standardised and practical static digestion method based on physiologically relevant conditions that can be applied for various endpoints, which may be amended to accommodate further specific requirements. A frameset of parameters including the oral, gastric and small intestinal digestion are outlined and their relevance discussed in relation to available in vivo data and enzymes. This consensus paper will give a detailed protocol and a line-by-line, guidance, recommendations and justifications but also limitation of the proposed model. This harmonised static, in vitro digestion method for food should aid the production of more comparable data in the future.


M. Minekus

Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)

Marie Alminger

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Life Sciences

P. Alvito

Instituto Nacional de Saude Dr. Ricardo Jorge

S. Ballance


T. Bohn

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology

C. Bourlieu

INRA Centre de Rennes

Agrocampus Rennes

F. Carriere

Aix Marseille University

R. Boutrou

INRA Centre de Rennes

Agrocampus Rennes

M. Corredig

University of Guelph

D. Dupont

INRA Centre de Rennes

Agrocampus Rennes

C. Dufour

INRA Avignon

L. Egger

Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux

M. Golding

Massey University

S. Karakaya

Ege University

B. Kirkhus


S. Le Feunteun

Genie et Microbiologie des Procedes Alimentaires

U. Lesmes

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

A. Macierzanka

Institute of Food Research

A. Mackie

Institute of Food Research

S. Marze

INRA Nantes

D. J. McClements

University of Massachusetts

O. Menard

INRA Centre de Rennes

Agrocampus Rennes

I. Recio

Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM)

C. N. Santos

Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica

Nova University of Lisbon

R. P. Singh

University of California

G. E. Vegarud

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

M. S. J. Wickham

Leatherhead Food Research

W. Weitschies

University of Greifswald

A. Brodkorb

Teagasc - Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority

Food and Function

2042-6496 (ISSN) 2042-650X (eISSN)

Vol. 5 6 1113-1124

Subject Categories

Food Science

Chemical Sciences

Other Natural Sciences

Areas of Advance

Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)



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