Food processing and the glycemic index

Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Dec;42(6):1192-6. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/42.6.1192.


The purpose of the study was to compare the in vitro starch digestibility and postprandial blood glucose response of conventionally-cooked versus factory-processed foods. Carbohydrate portions of three unprocessed foods (boiled rice, sweet corn, and potato) and six processed foods (instant rice, Rice Bubbles, corn chips, Cornflakes, instant potato, and potato crisps) were incubated for 3 h with human saliva and porcine pancreatin. The proportion of starch digested was significantly higher (p less than 0.05) for the processed forms of rice, corn, and potato compared with the respective conventionally cooked foods. In six healthy volunteers who ingested 50 g carbohydrate portions of the above foods the processed foods produced a higher glycemic index (p less than 0.05) in all but one instance. The exception was potato crisps which gave a similar glycemic response to boiled potato.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cooking
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Digestion
  • Female
  • Food Handling*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Oryza
  • Solanum tuberosum
  • Starch / metabolism*
  • Zea mays


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Starch