In this work, 18 gluten-free flours (prepared from cereals, pseudocereals and legumes), differing in pigmentation, were screened for their phenolic profiles, cooked and, then, subjected to digestion and large intestinal fermentation in vitro. A combined targeted/untargeted metabolomic approach was used to elucidate the microbial biotransformation processes of polyphenols following digestion. This preliminary work demonstrated an increase in 3,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (on average from 0.67 up to 1.30 μmol/g dry matter) throughout large intestinal fermentation of pseudocereals (esp. quinoa), due to their high alkylresorcinol contents. Isoflavones were converted into equol- or O-desmethylangolensin- derivatives, whereas anthocyanins were degraded into lower-molecular-weight phenolics (i.e., protocatechuic aldehyde and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, with the latter exhibiting the highest increase over time). A decreasing trend was observed for antioxidant activities (i.e., FRAP and ORAC values) moving from digested to faecal fermented samples. These findings highlight that gluten-free flours are able to deliver bioaccessible polyphenols to the colon.
Keywords: Food metabolomics; In vitro large intestinal fermentation; Pigmented flours; Polyphenols; UHPLC-Orbitrap; UHPLC-QTOF.
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