• food disintegration;
  • half time (t1/2);
  • hardness;
  • stomach emptying;
  • stomach model

ABSTRACT:  Knowledge of the disintegration kinetics of food particulates in the human stomach is essential for assessing the bioaccessibility of nutrients in solid foods and understanding stomach emptying. The objective of this study was to develop a model stomach system and to investigate the kinetics of food disintegration. Our system consisted mainly of a turntable and a jacketed glass chamber containing simulated gastric juice in which plastic beads were added to simulate food particulates as well as provide a suitable mechanical destructive force on food samples. The mechanical force on the samples was simultaneously measured using the load cell of a TA-XT2 texture analyzer. Cylindrical carrots and ham samples were used as representative foods. The system is capable of simulating the in vivo stomach in terms of providing a wide range of continuous and periodic forces comparable to those measured in vivo. The modified power exponential function of the form yt= 1 – (1 –ekt)β, where yt is the mass retention ratio at time t, provided a reasonable description for the disintegration performance of tested foods. The mass retention curve can be either a sigmoidal decay with an initial delay or an exponential decay, which are decided largely by the hardness of the foods during digestion and the extent of physical force acting on the foods. A good match was observed between the kinetics of food disintegration and in vivo stomach emptying.