In vitro gastrointestinal digestion impact on stability, bioaccessibility and antioxidant activity of polyphenols from wild and commercial blackberries (Rubus spp.)
Gastrointestinal digestion (GID) is a physiological process that transforms the stability, bioaccessibility and antioxidant activity (AOX) of polyphenols from blackberries (Rubus spp.). This study aimed to investigate the effect of the INFOGEST® GID protocol on the phenolic stability, bioaccessibility and AOX of Mexican wild (WB) and commercial (CB) blackberries. After GID, the total phenolic and anthocyanin contents in blackberries decreased by ≥68% and ≥74%, respectively. More than 40 phenolics were identified during GID; most of them degraded completely during digestion. GID had a negative effect on the AOX of both fruits (>50%), but WB showed the highest antioxidant activities, as assessed by the ORAC, DPPH, reducing power and β-carotene bleaching methods. In Caco-2 cells, the cell-based antioxidant activity of digested blackberries (p < 0.05) decreased by 48% in WB and by 56% in CB. The capacity to inhibit intracellular ROS decreased by 50% in WB and by up to 86% in CB, after digestion. GID is a complex process that impacts on the bioactive properties of food nutrients, especially phenolics. In vitro and cellular AOX of WB polyphenols withstood the gastrointestinal environment better than CB phenolics. The in vitro assays results suggest that phenolics from underutilized WB have a higher bioaccessibility and antioxidant capacity than the polyphenols from the most frequently consumed CB. However, whether this corresponds to a better bioaccessibility in humans remains to be determined in future work.