Absorption and bioavailability

Whereas food ingredients or pharmaceutical may act locally in the gastrointestinal tract, absorption from the gut and systemic circulation of the active compound is in many cases essential for their impact on human health. Similarly, digested food metabolites, such as simple sugars, peptides and lipids are typically removed from the intestinal tract by absorptive processes.

To include such absorptive processes in its technology platform, ProDigest has developed a number of absorption models. Depending on the specific interest, ProDigest uses dialysis modules, ultrafiltration setups or cell culture-based absorption models. This system can be used to also assess digestibility of specific food and feed components

In contrast with the simplified dissolution experiments typically performed in pharmaceutical industry, the ProDigest assay allows to work under highly representative intestinal conditions.

This results in a dramatically increased predictive value of the obtained profiles.

These dissolution experiments can be performed under both fasted and fed conditions and consist of the sequential incubation of a representative dose of the selected products under simulated conditions for stomach (low pH, pepsin) and small intestine (high pH, addition of pancreatic enzymes and bile salts).

This approach is typically used to evaluate the intestinal passage of capsules and pharmaceutical formulations for targeted release of active compounds and makes use of a temperature-controlled continuously stirred reactor in which the capsules are provided within a sinker device. The reactors can be sampled at different time intervals and specific analyses can be conducted to evaluate the dissolution/bioaccessibility/bioavailability of the active compounds from a formulation or the survival of probiotics under intestinal conditions.