Nestlé S.A. researchers are hoping to make us feel full with less food. The scientists hope to make foods that will trick the intestines into thinking it’s full and to stay fuller for longer.
The Science Behind It
In our digestive tracts, much like our brains, there are 500 million nerve cells that work together to let us know when we are hungry and when we are full. According to the Wall Street Journal, they help to control muscular contractions in the gut as well as secretions of glands and cells. And they help balance hunger and satiety (or the sense of being full) communicating those states to the big brain.
“This means that people will report a sense of fullness more quickly,” said Heribert Watzke, a senior food scientist at Nestle in a Wall Street Journal article. “That tells the big brain to stop eating.”
The Mechanics Of Digestion
Researchers have created a million-dollar artificial machine that imitates what happens in the human digestive system. They are running experiments to measure how long it takes the artificial gut to digest olive oil combined with monoglyceride to make it harder to digest the oil.
According to Foxnews, the scientists found it took eight times longer for the machine to “digest” the olive oil-monoglyceride combination. This resulted in more undigested oil reaching the small intestine.
In the human body, this could lead to a stronger signal of fullness to the brain.