Bioaccessibility of Tudela artichoke (Cynara scolymus cv. Blanca de Tudela) (poly)phenols: the effects of heat treatment, simulated gastrointestinal digestion and human colonic microbiota
The aim of this study was to evaluate the bioaccessibility of (poly)phenolic compounds in Tudela artichokes (Cynara scolymus cv. Blanca de Tudela) after an in vitro gastrointestinal digestion and the effect of the human colonic microbiota. A total of 28 (poly)phenolic compounds were identified and quantified by LC-MS/MS in raw, boiled, sous vide and microwaved Tudela artichokes. Out of these, sixteen were phenolic acids, specifically caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs) and other minor hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, ten flavonoids belonging to the family of flavones (apigenin and luteolin derivatives) and two lignans (pinoresinol derivatives). Sous vide and microwaving caused mainly transesterification reactions of CQAs but maintained or even augmented the total (poly)phenolic contents of artichokes, while boiling decreased (poly)phenolic compounds by 25% due to leaching into the boiling water. Heat treatment exerted a positive effect on the bioaccessibility of (poly)phenols after gastrointestinal digestion. In raw artichokes, only 1.6% of the total (poly)phenolic compounds remained bioaccessible after gastrointestinal digestion, while in artichoke samples cooked by sous vide, boiled and microwaved, the percentage of bioaccessibility was 60.38%, 59.93% and 39,03% respectively. After fecal fermentation, 20 native (poly)phenolic compounds and 11 newly formed catabolites were quantified. 48 h of fecal fermentation showed that native (poly)phenols are readily degraded by colonic microbiota during the first 2 h of incubation. The colonic degradation of artichoke (poly)phenols follows a major pathway that involves the formation of caffeic acid, dihydrocaffeic acid, 3-(3 '-hydroxyphenyl)propionic acid, 3-phenylpropionic acid and phenylacetic acid, with 3-phenylpropionic acid being the most abundant end product. The catabolic pathways for colonic microbial degradation of artichoke CQAs are proposed.