We investigated digestion of orally fed galactoglycerolipids such as monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) from wheat flour in the rat alimentary canal, especially focusing on the digestive fates of deacylated galactosylglycerol structures. After a single oral administration of MGDG (20 mg/rat), monogalactosylmonoacylglycerol and monogalactosylglycerol (MGG) were found to be major digestion products in the intestinal tract. Similarly, digalactosylmonoacylglycerol and digalactosylglycerol (DGG) were confirmed to be present in the intestinal tract after DGDG ingestion (20 mg/rat). In rats fed wheat flour glycolipids (42 mg MGDG and 81 mg DGDG per rat), completely deacylated galactosylglycerols (MGG and DGG) were not detected in portal plasma. Although the deacylated galactosylglycerols were not significantly decomposed by intestinal mucosa in vitro, they were hydrolyzed by cecal contents. The results demonstrated that orally ingested plant galactoglycerolipids in the rat alimentary canal are rapidly hydrolyzed into constituent fatty acids and that hydrophilic galactosylglycerols and the hydrophilic backbone galactosylglycerols are not absorbed from intestine or degraded into galactose and glycerol in the intestinal tract. Therefore, the presence of deacylated galactosylglycerols may affect the fermentative activity of enterobacteria in the cecum and colon. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.