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How Does Starch Structure Impact Amylolysis? Review of Current Strategies for Starch Digestibility Study

  • wang;, yuzi
Publication Date
Apr 24, 2022
DOI: 10.3390/foods11091223
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In vitro digestibility of starch is a common analysis in human nutrition research, and generally consists of performing the hydrolysis of starch by α-amylase in specific conditions. Similar in vitro assays are also used in other research fields, where different methods can be used. Overall, the in vitro hydrolysis of native starch is a bridge between all of these methods. In this literature review, we examine the use of amylolysis assays in recent publications investigating the complex starch structure-amylolysis relation. This review is divided in two parts: (1) a brief review of the factors influencing the hydrolysis of starch and (2) a systematic review of the experimental designs and methods used in publications for the period 2016–2020. The latter reports on starch materials, factors investigated, characterization of the starch hydrolysis kinetics and data analysis techniques. This review shows that the dominant research strategy favors the comparison between a few starch samples most frequently described through crystallinity, granule type, amylose and chain length distribution with marked characteristics. This strategy aims at circumventing the multifactorial aspect of the starch digestion mechanism by focusing on specific features. An alternative strategy relies on computational approaches such as multivariate statistical analysis and machine learning techniques to decipher the role of each factor on amylolysis. While promising to address complexity, the limited use of a computational approach can be explained by the small size of the experimental datasets in most publications. This review shows that key steps towards the production of larger datasets are already available, in particular the generalization of rapid hydrolysis assays and the development of quantification approaches for most analytical results.

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