, Volume 28, Issue 8, pp 737-741

In vitro studies of intragastric digestion

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Following consumption of a meal, 99% of the large food particles are emptied only after intragastric fragmentation has reduced their diameter to less than 2 mm. Anin vitro model was constructed to evaluate some of the factors which may play a role in the process of intragastric digestion. Gastric mixing of food was simulated in a silicone rubber tube (ID 19 mm) placed in a peristaltic pump. Peristaltic waves progressed upwards along the tube at a frequency of 0, 1, or 3/min, reducing the internal diameter of the tube to 5 mm. Cooked chicken liver particles (2–2.8 mm in diameter) were placed in the tube with one of the following: (1) 150 mM NaCl, (2) 150 mM HCl with or without pepsin, or (3) phosphate buffer at pH 7, 5.4, or 2.6 + pepsin. After 30 min, the extent of particle reduction and of solubilization of proteins were determined and expressed as percent of the initial liver weight. The diameter of liver particles was reduced to a greater extent in NaCl than in pH 7 buffer or acid solutions with or without pepsin. In contrast, the amount of proteins solubilized was enhanced two- to threefold by acid pepsin solutions compared to NaCl or pH 7 phosphate. The presentin vitro studies suggest that changes in motor and/or secretory activity of the stomach significantly modify intragastric digestion.

The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of Defense.
The experiments reported herein were conducted according to the principles set forth in the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals,” Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, National Research Council, DHEW Publ. No. 78-23.