Rheological and microstructural properties of porcine gastric digesta and diets containing pectin or mango powder

Peng Wu, Sushil Dhital, Barbara A. Williams, Xiao Dong Chen, Michael J. Gidley

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Hydrated polysaccharides and their assemblies are known to modulate gastric emptying rate due to their capacity to change the structural and rheological properties of gastric contents (digesta). In the present study, we investigated the rheological and microstructural properties of gastric digesta from pigs fed with diets incorporating mango powder or pectin, and compared results with those from hydrated diets of the same water content, in order to investigate the origins for rheological changes in the pig stomach. All of the hydrated diets and gastric digesta were particle-dominated suspensions, generally showing weak gel or more solid-like behavior with the storage modulus (G') always greater than loss modulus (G") under small deformation oscillatory measurements, and with small deformation viscosity greater than steady shear viscosity (i.e. non-Cox-Merz superposition). Although significant rheological differences were observed between the hydrated diets, rheological parameters for gastric digesta were similar for all diets, indicative of a rheological homeostasis in the pig stomach. Whilst the addition of gastric mucin (20 mg/mL) to control and mango diets altered the rheology to match the gastric digesta rheology, the effect of mucin on the pectin-containing diet was negligible. The viscous effect of pectin also hindered the action of alpha amylase as observed from relatively less damaged starch granules in pectin digesta compared to mango and control digesta. Based on the experimental findings that the rheology of gastric digesta differs from hydrated diets of the same water content, the current study revealed composition-dependent complex behavior of gastric digesta in vivo, suggesting that the rheology of food products or ingredients may not necessarily reflect the rheological effect when ingested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-226
Number of pages11
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastric digesta
  • Microstructure
  • Mucin
  • Pectin
  • Pig diets
  • Rheology
  • Soluble dietary fiber

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