• confocal microscopy;
  • fatty acid;
  • fibers;
  • in vitro digestion;

ABSTRACT:  The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of various fiber additions on lipid digestion during the in vitro digestion of beef patties. The control patties were prepared with 90.5% lean meat and 9.5% tallow. Treatments consisted of 90% lean meat with 9.5% tallow and either 0.5% cellulose, 0.5% chitosan, or 0.5% pectin. The beef patties were then passed through an in vitro digestion model that simulated the composition of the mouth, stomach, and small intestine juices. The change in structure and properties of the lipid droplets was monitored by laser scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy. In general, there was a decrease in lipid droplet diameter as the droplets moved from mouth to stomach to small intestine. The amount of free fatty acid dramatically increased after in vitro digestion in all beef patties. The amount of free fatty acid was, however, lower in beef patties containing chitosan and pectin than other beef patties after in vitro digestion. Beef patties containing various fibers had lower thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) values than samples with no fibers. Among the samples to which fibers were added, chitosan and pectin had lower TBARS than beef patties with cellulose. The cholesterol content decreased after in vitro digestion in all beef patties but was not different among the beef patties before and after in vitro digestion. These results enhance our understanding of the physicochemical and structural changes that occur to ground beef within the gastrointestinal tract.