In vitro simulations of the gastrointestinal digestion

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Animal health
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
  • Translational - Applied Research
Type of method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Other (e.g. bacteria)
Specify the type of cells/tissues/organs
Fecal inocula


Method keywords
  • in vitro digestion
  • colonic digestion
  • fecal inocula
Scientific area keywords
  • in vitro
  • digestion
  • chemistry
  • food safety
Method description

The aim of these in vitro digestions is to simulate the gastrointestinal digestion of specific food sources and to identify metabolites that might be formed out of this food source by the residing microbiome. For this purpose, fecal samples will be collected from volunteers and will be prepared as fecal inoculum. The in vitro simulation of the gastrointestinal digestion consists of an enzymatic digestion (mouth, stomach and duodenum), followed by a colonic fermentation, for which the fecal inoculum will be used.

Method status
  • Published in peer reviewed journal

Pros, cons & Future potential


Excellent way of evaluating the impact of the microbiome on digestion, without any confounding of the host digestion.


No interaction with the host.

References, associated documents and other information


Van Hecke et al (2014) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62, 1980-1988

Rombouts et al (2017) Scientific Repors, 7, 42514 L.Y.

Hemeryck et al (2018) Food and Chemical Toxicology, 115, 73-87

Associated documents
Rombouts et al, 2017.pdf
Van Hecke et al, 2014.pdf
Hemeryck et al, 2018.pdf
Van Hecke et al, 2014
Rombouts et al, 2017
L.Y. Hemeryck et al, 2018

Contact person

Lynn Vanhaecke


Ghent University (UGent)
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety
Flemish Region