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Physico-chemical and textural properties of foods in addition to their chemical composition modify postprandial metabolism and signals from the gastrointestinal tract. Enzymatic cross-linking of protein is a tool to modify food texture and structure without changing nutritional composition. We investigated the effects of structure modification of a milk protein-based model food and the type of milk protein used on postprandial hormonal, metabolic and appetitive responses. Healthy males (n 8) consumed an isoenergetic and isovolumic test product containing either whey protein (Wh, low-viscous liquid), casein (Cas, high-viscous liquid) or Cas protein cross-linked with transglutaminase (Cas-TG, rigid gel) in a randomised order. Blood samples were drawn for plasma glucose, insulin, cholecystokinin (CCK), glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY analysis for 4 h. Appetite was assessed at concomitant time points. Cas and Wh were more potent in lowering postprandial glucose than Cas-TG during the first hour. Insulin concentrations peaked at 30 min, but the peaks were more pronounced for Cas and Wh than for Cas-TG. The increase in CCK was similar for Cas and Wh in the first 15 min, whereas for Cas-TG, the CCK release was significantly lower, but more sustained. The feeling of fullness was stronger after the consumption of Cas-TG than after the consumption of Cas and Wh. The present results suggest that food structure is more effective in modulating the postprandial responses than the type of dairy protein used. Modification of protein-based food structure could thus offer a possible tool for lowering postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations and enhancing postprandial fullness.
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