Process Of Breaking Down Food Into Smaller Particles

3290 Words14 Pages
Digestion Physiology
Erica Yeisley
ZOOL 2021.01
Youlonda FitzGerald
November 2, 2014

I. Introduction
The process of breaking down food into smaller particles is called digestion, which primarily occurs within three segments of the digestive tract: the mouth, stomach, and the small intestine. In order for nutrients to be fully absorbed, they essentially need to be broken down into smaller particles in order to be transported through carrier proteins into the epithelial cells that form the mucosal lining of the digestive tract (Texas Woman’s University 2014). There are two different processes in which digestion occurs: mechanical digestion, where large chunks of food are mechanically breaking into smaller pieces, and chemical digestion, in which enzymes break down large molecules into smaller ones (Allen & Harper p. 559). Within chemical digestion, the presence of certain enzymes allow digestion to accelerate, without the presence of enzymes, the overall reaction speed decreases. There are two basic types of mechanical digestion, mastication and peristalsis. Mastication or chewing, is the first step within digestion, and is a process in which we chew large chunks of food in order to break them down into smaller pieces in order to be digested properly. Peristalsis is merely involuntary contractions within the organs that allow the movement through the esophagus and the intestinal tracts. Chemical and mechanical digestion is essential towards breaking down food
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