Tracking the Fate of Pasta (T. Durum Semolina) Immunogenic Proteins by in Vitro Simulated Digestion

The aim of the present study was to identify and characterize the celiacogenic/immunogenic proteins and peptides released during digestion of pasta (Triticum durum semolina). Cooked pasta was digested using a harmonized in vitro static model of oral–gastro–duodenal digestion. The course of pasta protein digestion was monitored by SDS-PAGE, and gluten proteins were specifically analyzed by Western blot using sera of celiac patients. Among the allergens, nonspecific lipid-transfer protein was highly resistant to gastro–duodenal hydrolysis, while other digestion-stable allergens such as α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors were not detected being totally released in the pasta cooking water. To simulate the final stage of intestinal degradation, the gastro–duodenal digesta were incubated with porcine jejunal brush-border membrane hydrolases. Sixty-one peptides surviving the brush-border membrane peptidases were identified by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, including several gluten-derived sequences encrypting different motifs responsible for the induction of celiac disease. These results provide new insights into the persistence of wheat-derived peptides during digestion of cooked pasta samples.