Enrichment of fruit juices with pine bark extract (PBE) could be a strategy to compensate for phenolic losses during the gastrointestinal digestion. A coculture system with Caco-2 cells and RAW 264.7 macrophages was established as an in vitro model of inflamed human intestinal epithelium for evaluating the anti-inflammatory capacity of fruit juices enriched with PBE (0.5 g L(-1)) before and after in vitro digestion. The digestion of both PBE-enriched pineapple and red fruit juice led to significant changes in most of the analysed phenolic compounds. The in vitro inflammatory state showed cell barrier dysfunction and overproduction of IL-8, nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the inflamed cells, incubation with nondigested samples reduced (P<0.05) the production of IL-8 and NO compared with digested samples. ROS production increased in the inflamed cells exposed to digested commercial red fruit juice (86.8±1.3%) compared with fresh juice (77.4±0.8%) and increased in the inflamed cells exposed to digested enriched red fruit juice (82.6±1.6%) compared with the fresh enriched juice (55.8±6%). The anti-inflammatory properties of PBE-enriched fruit juices decreased after digestion; further research on the bioavailability of the assayed compounds is needed to properly assess their usefulness for the treatment of gut inflammation.
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