October 20/West Lafayette, Ind./Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week -- Research findings, "Influence of Chocolate Matrix Composition on Cocoa Flavanol Bioaccessibility in vitro and Bioavailability in Humans," are discussed in a new report. "Conflicting data exist regarding the influence of chocolate matrices on the bioavailability of epicatechin (EC) from cocoa. The objective of this study was to assess the bioavailability of EC from matrices varying in macronutrient composition and physical form," researchers in the U.S. report.
"EC bioavailability was assessed from chocolate confections [reference dark chocolate (CDK), high sucrose (CHS), high milk protein (CMP)] and cocoa beverages [sucrose milk protein (BSMP), non-nutritive sweetener milk protein (BNMP)], in humans and in vitro. Six subjects consumed each product in a randomized crossover design, with serum EC concentrations monitored over six hours post consumption. Areas under the serum concentration-time curve (AUC) were similar among chocolate matrices. However, AUCs were significantly increased for BSMP and BNMP (132 and 143 nM h) versus CMP (101 nM h). Peak serum concentrations (C(MAX)) were also increased for BSMP and BNMP (43 and 42 nM) compared to CDK and CMP (32 and 25 nM). Mean T(MAX) values were lower, although not statistically different, for beverages (0.9-1.1 h) versus confections (1.8-2.3 h), reflecting distinct shapes of the pharmacokinetic curves for beverages and confections. In vitro bioaccessibility and Caco-2 accumulation did not differ between treatments," wrote A.P. Neilson and colleagues, Purdue University, Department of Food Science.
The researchers concluded, "These data suggest that bioavailability of cocoa flavanols is likely similar from typical commercial cocoa based foods and beverages, but that the physical form and sucrose content may influence T(MAX) and C(MAX)."
Neilson and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry ("Influence of Chocolate Matrix Composition on Cocoa Flavanol Bioaccessibility in vitro and Bioavailability in Humans," Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009;57(20):9418-26).
For additional information, contact A.P. Neilson, Purdue University, Dept. of Food Science, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.
From the November 1, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition