Interactions among macronutrients in wheat flour determine their enzymic susceptibility

Rewati R. Bhattarai, Sushil Dhital, Michael J. Gidley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


The rate of enzymic digestion of the three major macronutrients (protein, triglyceride and starch) in the human diet has a controlling influence on physiological and hormonal responses underpinning many of the risk factors for major non-communicable diseases. Previously, the interactions among macronutrients and the inter-dependence of individual macronutrient enzymic hydrolysis processes have been largely ignored. We now report a comprehensive study of component interactions in the enzymic hydrolysis of starch, protein and lipids representing both gastric and small intestinal digestion using wheat flour as an exemplar. Enzymic susceptibility of individual macronutrients in wheat flour was affected by each of a range of interactions among constituents as well as interactions of enzymes with non-substrate macronutrients. The results show the importance of food structure in attenuating the rate and extent of hydrolysis of starch, protein, and lipids, and highlight the fact that studies performed on isolated macronutrient/enzyme systems may not represent the complexities of real digestion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-425
Number of pages11
JournalFood Hydrocolloids
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Food structure
  • In vitro hydrolysis
  • Lipids
  • Macronutrients
  • Non-specific binding
  • Protein
  • Starch

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