Potential contributions of the methodology to the variability of glycaemic index of foods
Glycaemic index (GI) testing provides a useful point of comparison between carbohydrate sources. For this comparison to be meaningful, the methods used to determine GI values need to be rigorous and consistent between testing events. This requirement has led to increasing standardization of the GI methodology, with an international standard developed in joint consultation with FAO/WHO (ISO 26642:2010) currently the most up to date document. The purpose of this review is to compare the international standard to methods of published studies claiming to have performed a GI test. This analysis revealed that the international standard permits a wide range of choices for researchers when designing a GI testing plan, rather than a single standardized protocol. It has also been revealed that the literature contains significant variation, both between studies and from the international standard for critical aspects of GI testing methodology. The primary areas of variation include; what glucose specification is used, which reference food is used, how much reference food is given, what drink is given during testing, the blood sampling site chosen and what assay and equipment is used to measure blood glucose concentration. For each of these aspects we have explored some of the methodological and physiological implications of these variations. These insights suggest that whilst the international standard has assisted with framing the general parameters of GI testing, further stan-dardization to testing procedures is still required to ensure the continued relevance of the GI to clinical nutrition.