Degree of particle size breakdown during mastication may be a possible cause of interindividual glycemic variability

Viren Ranawana, John A Monro, Suman Mishra, C Jeya K Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


The degree of mastication varies significantly between individuals and may be a cause for the considerable interindividual variation observed in the glycemic response (GR) to a single food. Using rice as the model, the aim of this study was to determine if interindividual differences in mastication and resulting degree of particle breakdown affected in vitro and in vivo glycemic potency. In a randomized crossover design, using 15 subjects, the particle size distribution and in vitro digestibility of individuals' chewed rice were determined along with their in vivo blood GR. The rapidly digested starch (RDS) content in the masticated boluses, moreover, was measured during in vitro digestion. The particle size distribution of masticated rice differed significantly interindividually. In vitro digestion of rice decreased as particle size increased. The degree of particle size breakdown as a result of mastication correlated with the RDS content in the chewed food bolus and initial digestion rate in vitro. The quantity of undigested material remaining at the end of 120-minute in vitro digestion correlated significantly with the percentage of particles greater than 2000 microm in masticated rice. The percentage of particles smaller than 500 microm correlated significantly with in vivo GR at 30 minutes postingestion but not with the total incremental area under the blood glucose curve. The degree of habitual mastication may therefore potentially influence both the magnitude and pattern of the GR and may partly explain interindividual differences in it. Although the study sets the base for future research, firm conclusions can be reached only upon the completion of additional work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-254
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition research (New York, N.Y.)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • adult
  • area under curve
  • blood glucose
  • cross-over studies
  • digestion
  • female
  • glycemic index
  • humans
  • male
  • mastication
  • middle aged
  • Oryza sativa
  • particle size
  • starch
  • young adult


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