Rights: The University of Waikato Published 1 February 2007 Download

The Lifestyle Foods research team test the glycaemic loads of foods either in the laboratory in vitro or in human subjects in vivo. What advantages does each strategy offer?


Alison Wallace, Plant & Food Research We can use two models to test for glycaemic load of a food. We have an in vitro model, where we take things in a test tube and see how they affect the blood glucose response of a food. We also have a human model, where we use real-life examples.

John Monro, Plant & Food Research But unfortunately it is very costly because people vary so much in their blood glucose responses. If you want to tell what the glycaemic load is of a food, just because of the variation [between people], you have to have enough subjects to work out statistically what a valid average is for all those people.

Alison Wallace, Plant & Food Research With an in vitro model, we can actually test a lot more foods very quickly. The in vitro tool really has two purposes. One, it helps us to be able to develop foods and to find out whether our foods in our programme are worthy of taking to a clinical trial. The other one is that we are hoping ultimately it will give industry a much faster and easier way to measure blood glucose response of their foods.