Disintegration of Solid Foods in Human Stomach



ABSTRACT:  Knowledge of the disintegration of solid foods in human stomach is essential to assess the bioavailability of nutrients in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. A comprehensive review of food gastric digestion, focusing on disintegration of solid foods, is presented. Most of the research reviewed in this paper is contained in the medical, pharmaceutical, food, and nutritional literature. Stomach physiology is briefly introduced, including composition and rheological properties of gastric contents, stomach wall motility in fed/fasted states, and hydrodynamic and mechanical forces that act on the ingested food. In vivo and in vitro methods used for studying food and drug digestion in GI are summarized. Stomach emptying rate, which controls the rate of absorption of nutrients, is highly related to the disintegration of foods. This topic is highlighted with focus on the important mechanisms and the influence of chemical and physical properties of foods. Future research in this area is identified to increase our fundamental understanding of the food digestion process in the stomach as related to the food composition, material properties such as texture and microstructure, and chemical characteristics. This information is necessary to develop new guidelines for seeking innovative processing methods to manufacture foods specifically targeted for health.