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Alexa Evenson


Background: Gluten and inulin type fibers have been shown to impact satiety, breath hydrogen, GI symptoms, and properties of different food products.

Objective: To investigate the effects of gluten and inulin on sensory attributes, breath hydrogen, GI symptoms, and satiety in healthy individuals.

Methods: A randomized, controlled crossover design was conducted with 24 healthy adults (ages 18-39). Fasted subjects consumed a 16 oz. low FODMAP smoothie as the control. Treatment smoothies consisted of the low FODMAP base and either gluten (5g) or inulin (5g). Breath hydrogen measures were taken at baseline (0), 1, 2, and 3, hours. Subjective GI symptoms surveys were collected at baseline (0), 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 12, and 24 hours. VAS was collected at baseline (0), 10 min, 30 min, 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 hours. Sensory analysis was completed after the first initial sips of smoothie consumption. Breath hydrogen, GI symptoms, and VAS scales were assessed by area under the curve using the trapezoidal rule. Repeated Measures ANOVA was used to evaluate differences between treatments with significance set at P<0.05.

Results: In the sample of healthy adults, there was no difference (p>0.05) in breath hydrogen between treatments at any time point or total AUC. There was a difference for GI symptoms between the low FODMAP control and gluten treatment, with gluten producing less total GI symptoms (mean difference 2.84; p=.015). There was no difference in any sensory attribute or overall liking between treatments. There were significant differences in hunger between control and inulin treatments (MD=-6.18; p=0.024). There were also significant differences in fullness between control and inulin (MD=5.96; p=.026) and gluten and inulin treatments (MD=6.74; p=.016). There were no differences between treatments for satisfaction and volume of food to eat (p>.05).

Conclusion: The use of gluten and inulin at levels of 5 grams in a smoothie application had no impact on sensory attributes. Consumption of inulin resulted in a decrease in hunger and an increase in fullness. These results support not limiting gluten or inulin consumption in healthy individuals, as they did not lead to increased breath hydrogen or GI symptoms.