Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600



Fibrous Cellular Structures are Found in a Commercial Fruit Smoothie and Remain Intact during Simulated Digestion

Jin Chu, Bridget Dooshima Igbetar and Caroline Orfila

The intactness of cell wall structures in foods has important repercussions for nutrient digestion and availability. In this study, we show the presence of intact cell wall structures in a commercial fruit smoothie (blend of banana, mango, orange and apple) and fruit purée (banana, mango), but not in fruit juices (apple or orange). Small clusters of cells were observed in fresh crushed fruit (banana, mango, and apple), the size of the cluster dependent on the type of fruit. When the smoothie was subjected to simulated gastro-intestinal digestion, cell wall structures were found abundantly even after 16 hrs of agitated incubation with digestive enzymes (protease, amylase and amyloglucosidase). Total dietary fibre (TDF) content of the smoothie was measured using the AOAC (991.43) and integrated fibre (IF) analysis methods. TDF-AOAC value was significantly lower (1.61%) than the TDF-IF (2.22%), but the ratio of insoluble to soluble dietary fibre (IDF: SDF) was consistently 1:3. Disruption of the cell wall structures in the smoothie by high shear homogenisation led to a 68% reduction in viscosity, 30% reduction in TDF content and a 10% increase in SDF. These experiments suggest that cell wall structures similar to those observed in crushed fruit are preserved during commercial smoothie manufacture and are retained during digestion. Their presence may have implications for fibre quantification and fibre functionality in the gut. We discuss the need to consider fibre structure, as well as content, when evaluating the nutritional properties of fruit and their products.