Carotenoids and phenolic compounds have important physical-chemical properties related to the prevention and decreased risk of chronic-degenerative diseases. Their action is partially related to the modulation of oxidation reactions by scavenging reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species produced during the oxidative/nitrosative stress. The identification of the compounds formed after the digestion of carotenoids and phenolic compounds and the changes in the antioxidant capacity against reactive species of biological relevance are presented in very few studies. However, this information is essential, since the contents of bioactive compounds in food, as well as the antioxidant capacity, should probably be overestimated when compared to the bioaccessible fraction. In this sense, this project aims to answer the following questions: (i) How do the composition and physical state of systems that mimic food (freshly prepared and freeze-dried emulsions) affect the in vitro bioaccessibility of carotenoids and phenolic compounds? (ii) Does the in vitro digestion have negative or positive impact on the ROS and RSN scavenging capacity of carotenoids and phenolic compounds?; (iii) Which are the bioaccessible compounds available as antioxidants after the in vitro digestion?; (iv) What is the effect of the simultaneous presence of carotenoids and phenolic compounds on the in vitro bioaccessibility and on the antioxidant capacity? In order to answer these questions, different emulsions (food mimetic system) containing standards of carotenoids and phenolic compounds will be prepared. The in vitro digestion (gastric and intestinal phases) will be evaluated by a static method, the ROS and RNS scavenging capacity will be evaluated by specific methods for each reactive species and the compounds formed after the in vitro gastrointestinal digestion will be characterized by high performance liquid chromatograph coupled to a diode array and a mass spectrometer detectors (HPLC-DAD-MSn).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: