Spectrophotometric Investigation of Plant Based Pancrelipase for Pancreatic Insufficiency


  • Brittany L. Lowe
  • Dr. Ashley Spring


Pancreatic insufficiency is a critical issue for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), requiring the use of supplemental pancreatic enzymes to combat malnourishment and illnesses caused by malnourishment. As opposed to CF-prescribed supplemental pancreatic enzymes which are derived from pig intestines, the plant-based enzymes have additional properties that could be of great interest to the cystic fibrosis community. Bromelain's protein digestion has an alkalizing effect (further aiding digestion and absorption in the duodenum in cystic fibrosis patients), the mango amylase has shown antidiabetic properties comparable to Metformin, and oat lipase has been shown to be an efficient source of lipase in the cystic fibrosis community through other scientific literature. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that plant-based enzymes (bromelain protease, oat lipase, oat amylase, and mango amylase) will have significantly higher or comparable amounts of digested proteins, fats, and carbohydrates compared to CF-prescribed pancreatic enzymes. Using Bradford reagent for protein, Iodine for starch, and Rhodamine for fats, the amounts of organic compounds after adding the control and plant-based enzymes were analyzed through spectrophotometry. The results of this study indicate that all four of the plant-based enzymes had significantly higher amounts of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates digested when compared to the prescribed pancreatic enzymes indicated by the significantly increased quantity of monomers present after the digestion of cashew milk, Anacardium occidentale, occurred using the investigated enzymes compared to the Cf-prescribed enzymes. Coupled with the properties of the individual enzyme sources, further testing would be needed to explore the possibility of an additionally beneficial pancrelipase.