The influence of oral processing behaviour on nutrients (protein, starch) digestion

Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays numerous structural and functional roles in foods and contributes to health. The nutritional value of proteins is determined by various factors, including the amino acid composition, gastrointestinal protein digestibility as well as the utilization of the absorbed amino acids. Oral processing behaviour has been demonstrated to influence the digestibility and utilization of proteins (Rémond et al., 2007). Oral processing behaviour depends on oral physiology and intrinsic food properties. Oral processing behaviour is typically characterized by multiple factors, e.g. bite size, chewing sequence duration and eating rate (Bolhuis, Lakemond, de Wijk, Luning, & de Graaf, 2011). In contrast to several studies describing the influence of oral processing behaviour on polysaccharide digestion and utilization (Ranawana, Monro, Mishra, & Henry, 2010; Suzuki et al., 2005), little is known about the role of oral processing behaviour on protein digestibility and utilization.

To gain more insights into nutrients digestibility and utilization by considering the influence of oral processing behaviour.

1) To study the effect of macroscopic structure of food matrix on bolus properties after oral process.

2) To investigate the impact of oral processing behaviour (chewing sequence duration) on kinetics of in vitro digestibility of protein.

3) To elucidate the inter-individual difference in kinetics of in vitro digestibility of protein due to the variance in oral processing behaviour (chewing sequence duration).

Future research
To expand the research interest into other nutrients, such as starch in cereals (brown rice) and legumes (chickpea).


  1. Bolhuis, D. P., Lakemond, C. M. M., de Wijk, R. A., Luning, P. A., & de Graaf, C. (2011). Both Longer Oral Sensory Exposure to and Higher Intensity of Saltiness Decrease Ad Libitum Food Intake in Healthy Normal-Weight Men. The Journal of Nutrition, 141(12), 2242–2248.
  2. Ranawana Viren, V., Henry, C. J. K., & Pratt Megan, M. (2010). Degree of habitual mastication seems to contribute to interindividual variations in the glycemic response to rice but not to spaghetti. Nutrition Research, 30(6), 382–391.
  3. Rémond, D., Mirand, P. P., Machebeuf, M., Buffière, C., Mosoni, L., Mioche, L., & Yven, C. (2007). Postprandial whole-body protein metabolism after a meat meal is influenced by chewing efficiency in elderly subjects. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85(5), 1286–1292.
  4. Suzuki, H., Fukushima, M., Okamoto, S., Takahashi, O., Shimbo, T., Kurose, T., … Fukui, T. (2005). Effects of thorough mastication on postprandial plasma glucose concentrations in nonobese Japanese subjects. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, 54(12), 1593–1599.