The physicochemical properties of plant cell walls in the gut are important in modulating processes that influence health. We investigated the physicochemical properties of kiwifruit cell walls digested under gastric and gastroileal conditions in vitro. Soluble and insoluble undigested polymer fractions were measured, the hydration properties of the digested pulp, and the capacity to retard diffusion and mixing in a simulated small intestinal segment. Undigested polymer (dietary fibre) fractions differed little between "Hayward' ('Hayward') and 'Hort16A' (gold) kiwifruit cultivars in their relative proportions, although total dietary fibre was greater in 'Hayward' than in the 'Hort16A'. The polysaccharide composition of seed-free digestion-resistant polymer was similar in both cultivars and not affected by in vitro digestion. Indigestible remnants from kiwifruit had strong water retention and swelling capacities, also little affected by digesting, and retarded both glucose diffusion and mixing significantly, especially in the presence of low background viscosity. We conclude that the particulate cell wall remnants of digested kiwifruit retain substantial potential to influence the properties of gut contents.
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