The study, which combined clinical and preclinical approaches, aimed to mimic the process of human digestion and absorption on four different types of collagen peptides. The products, which were all provided by Rousselot, were sourced from different animals and varied in molecular weight.
In vitro digestions of the four collagen hydrolysates were performed with TIM Company’s model system tiny-TIM, a technology which mimics the chemical, kinetic, and dynamic conditions of human digestion. It allows researchers to identify the nutrient fractions that are available for absorption in the small intestine, providing information on the bioavailability of ingredients including collagen peptides.
INRAe performed a clinical test with 12 human participants who ingested 25 g of collagen peptides, and collected blood serum after product intake to investigfate Peptan’s composition once absorbed by the body.
Additionally, Triskelion carried out a comparative analysis of the initial collagen peptides, their in vitro digests, and the human seru,, providing an overview of the collagen peptides before and after digestion and absorption.
Results showed that the tested collagen peptides underwent significant change during digestion and absorption. The average molecular weight decreased as the products were exposed to different digestion enzymes and broken into smaller peptides. It was detected that products of different animal sources become more similar when the average molecular weight drops along the digestion and absorption process.
Additionally, the human serum analysis revealed the presence of bioactive hydroxyproline-carrying dipeptides in the blood after Peptan digestion. These dipeptides significantly contributed to the total increase of hydroxyproline, the characteristic amino acid of collagen, in the blood.
“This study takes a pioneering approach to capture the changes that Peptan undergoes while passing through our digestive tract and being absorbed into the blood stream,” Janne Prawitt, scientific director of health and nutrition at Rousselot, said. “It provides invaluable new data that contribute to build up our science knowledge behind the health benefits of collagen peptides, especially as part of Rousselot’s renewed strategic direction to invest in more fundamental research into the understanding of the mechanism behind Peptan’s health benefits. The long-term collaboration with INRAe and Triskelion is something we’re really proud of and is essential to helping us achieve a complete and solid understanding of our collagen products in order to keep progressing and innovating as the leader of collagen-based solutions.”
“The value of this study lies in the findings on the changing composition of the collagen hydrolysates,” Anne Kleinnijenhuis, senior scientist of analytical research at Triskelinon, said. “Such highly dynamic and complex products required the design of a novel analytical workflow, which enabled us to compare different types of samples and obtain layered information. The insight gained with this approach was crucial for defining a suitable targeted set up. It’s extremely rewarding to lead the way with new scientific methods and to work with high profile partners.”