Nutrition Engineering: dietary fibre and bile salts, the impact of structure on wellbeing and health

Cecile Dreiss (primary)
Institute of Pharmaceutical Science
King's College London
Balázs Bajka (secondary)
Department of Nutritional Sciences
King’s College London


High-Fat Diet (HFD) is associated with high incidences of obesity and elevated risks of disorders such as cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes [1]. Rather than formulating fat-reduced food, the preferred strategy is a biophysical approach to control lipid digestion. This strategy demands a detailed understanding of the impact of food composition, structure and processing on digestion, macronutrient absorption and signalling in the gastrointestinal tract.
This project aims to establish a mechanistic understanding of the role played by dietary fibres and bile salts in lipid digestion and engineer food emulsifiers that slow down lipid digestion and thus regulate fat uptake.


1. Espinal-Ruiz, M., et al., Impact of dietary fibers [methyl cellulose, chitosan, and pectin] on digestion of lipids under simulated gastrointestinal conditions. Food & function, 2014. 5(12): p. 3083-3095.
2. Grundy, M.M., et al., Then impact of oat structure and β-glucan on in vitro lipid digestion. Journal of functional foods, 2017. 38: p. 378-388.*
3. Torcello-Gómez, A., et al., Effect of substituent pattern and molecular weight of cellulose ethers on interactions with different bile salts. Food & function, 2015. 6(3): p. 730-739.
4. Pabois, O. et al. Molecular insights into the behaviour of bile salts at interfaces: a key to their role in lipid digestion. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2019 (under review)*
5. Parker, R., et al., The adsorption–desorption behaviour and structure function relationships of bile salts. Soft matter, 2014. 10(34): p. 6457-6466.
(*: denote publications by the proposers)

Animal disease, health and welfare
Area of Biology
Chemical BiologyPhysiology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBiophysicsChemistryEngineeringImage ProcessingMathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologySimulation / Modelling