Artichoke is a relevant source of health-promoting compounds such as polyphenols and sesquiterpene lactones. In this study, the bioaccessibility and gut bioavailability of artichoke constituents were evaluated by combining in vitro digestion and large intestine fermentation, metabolomics, and Caco-2 human intestinal cells model. Moreover, the ability of artichoke polyphenols to modulate the in vitro starch digestibility was also explored. An untargeted metabolomic approach based on liquid chromatography quadrupole-time-of-flight (UHPLC/QTOF) mass spectrometry coupled with multivariate statistics was used to comprehensively screen the phytochemical composition of raw, digested, and fermented artichoke. Overall, a large abundance of phenolic acids and sesquiterpene lactones was detected, being 13.77 and 11.99 mgg1, respectively. After 20 h of in vitro large intestine fermentation, a decrease in polyphenols and sesquiterpene lactones content was observed. The most abundant compounds characterizing the raw material (i.e., chlorogenic acid and cynaropicrin equivalents) showed an average % bioaccessibility of 1.6%. The highest % bioaccessibility values were recorded for flavonoids such as anthocyanin and flavone equivalents (on average, 13.6%). However, the relatively high bioavailability values recorded for flavonols, phenolic acids, and sesquiterpene lactones (from 71.6% up to 82.4%) demonstrated that these compounds are able to be transported through the Caco-2 monolayer. The phenolic compounds having the highest permeation rates through the Caco-2 model included low molecular weight phenolics such as tyrosol and 4-ethylcatechol; the isoflavonoids 30-O-methylviolanone, equol 40-O-glucuronide, and hydroxyisoflavone; together with the methyl and acetyl derivatives of glycosylated anthocyanins. Therefore, although human in vivo confirmatory trials are deemed possible, current findings provide insights into the mechanistic eects underlying artichoke polyphenols and sesquiterpenoids bioavailability following gastrointestinal and large intestine processes.
- simulated digestion