A starch digestion model considering intrinsic granular properties

Yifan Qin, Jie Xiao, Aibing Yu, Xiao Dong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Starch particle digestion is an important topic in food digestion research. This study has developed a diffusion-reaction model to characterize hindered enzyme diffusion and substrate hydrolysis on the surface and in the interior of porous starch particles. A moving boundary numerical method is applied to account for particle shrinkage caused by surface reaction. This model has been proven to predict the digestion rate of various starch particles of different sizes. The parameter estimation procedure quantifies the properties that are hard to measure by experimental techniques, i.e., diameter, reactive area, and proportion of pores accessible for enzyme as well as susceptibility of starch to enzyme. This work formulates a quantitative procedure for identifying the particle digestion pattern (i.e., outside-in or inside-out) by resorting to the developed model. Computational experiments indicate that in addition to internal architecture, particle size has a significant effect on the digestion pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111918
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Food Engineering
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Digestion
  • Enzymatic reaction
  • Hydrolysis kinetics
  • Mass transfer
  • Particle shrinkage

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