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Characterisation and identification of peptides (800 to 5000 Da) generated by intestinal digestion of fish or meat were performed using MS analyses (matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation time of flight and nano-liquid chromatography electrospray-ionisation ion trap MS/MS). Four pigs fitted with cannulas at the duodenum and jejunum received a meal exclusively made of cooked Pectoralis profundus beef meat or cooked trout fillets. A protein-free meal, made of free amino acids, starch and fat, was used to identify peptides of endogenous origin. Peptides reproducibly detected in digesta (i.e. from at least three pigs) were evidenced predominantly in the first 3 h after the meal. In the duodenum, most of the fish- and meat-derived peptides were characteristic of a peptic digestion. In the jejunum, the majority of peptides appeared to result from digestion by chymotrypsin and trypsin. Despite slight differences in gastric emptying kinetics and overall peptide production, possibly in relation to food structure and texture, six and four similar peptides were released after ingestion of fish or meat in the duodenum and jejunum. A total of twenty-six different peptides were identified in digesta. All were fragments of major structural (actin, myosin) or sarcoplasmic (creatine kinase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and myoglobin) muscle proteins. Peptides were short ( < 2000 Da) and particularly rich in proline residues. Nineteen of them contained bioactive sequences corresponding mainly to an antihypertensive activity. The present work showed that after fish or meat ingestion, among the wide variety of peptides produced by enzymic digestion, some of them can be reproducibly observed in intestinal digesta.
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