Analysing Digestion Data

Food technologist are interested in understanding if adding grain and/or vegetables to beef increases the digestibility over meat alone. Digestibility of meat was measured at up to 4 hours using a pepsin and pancreatin in vitro model. This method involves using gels in lanes, where the density of the colour of the gel is an indicator of the presence of a protein or peptide at that level of kilodalton (kDa). Typically kDa above 12kDa are considered to be the proteins and lower than that are the peptides. In the past we have analysed these data using two approaches. The first approach is to select 4 or 5 bands that expected to be important and then use a mixed effects model to compare the mean Trace Quantity of each of the bands, where Meat type, Additive type (vegetable and/or grain) and Time points are fixed factors and the gel is a random effect. The second approach is to fit a curve to the change in the proportion of Trace Quantity above 12kDa from Time zero. The problem with these two approaches is that we struggle to provide a consistent interpretation of the results. Therefore, we will explore alternative methods for analysing this type of data.