Where is chemical digestion located?
Mechanical digestion begins in the mouth as the food is chewed. Chemical digestion involves breaking down the food into simpler nutrients that can be used by the cells. Chemical digestion begins in the mouth when food mixes with saliva. Saliva contains an enzyme (amylase) that begins the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Although some digestion begins in the stomach, most digestion and absorption take place in the small intestine. The purpose of the small intestine is to finish digestion and absorb nutrients.
- The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. The hollow organs that make up the GI tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are the solid organs of the digestive system.
- It makes digestive enzymes that flow through the pancreatic duct to the small intestine. These enzymes, along with bile from the gallbladder, break down food for use as energy by the body. The pancreas also makes insulin and glucagon, hormones that help regulate blood glucose (sugar) levels.
- The small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract between the stomach and the large intestine where much of the digestion of food takes place. The primary function of the small intestine is the absorption of nutrients and minerals found in food.
Physical digestion involves breaking food down into smaller pieces without making any chemical changes. Physical digestion happens in: the mouth when food is chewed. the stomach when food is squeezed and moved around.
- Summary Table of the Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzyme Produced in Protease (e.g. Pepsin) Stomach, pancreas and small intestine Carbohydrase (e.g. Amylase) Salivary glands, pancreas and small intestine Lipase (e.g. Gastric lipase) Pancreas and small intestine
- Although some digestion begins in the stomach, most digestion and absorption take place in the small intestine. The purpose of the small intestine is to finish digestion and absorb nutrients.
- The stomach produces hydrochloric acid. This helps to begin digestion, and it kills many harmful microorganisms that might have been swallowed along with the food. The enzymes in the stomach work best in acidic conditions - in other words, at a low pH.
Updated: 2nd October 2019