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Chewing and Swallowing

Chewing and Swallowing

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This lesson will describe the process of chewing and swallowing and will also investigate the role of enzymes during this first stage of food processing.

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Tutorial
Terms to Know
Bolus

The ball of chewed food that is swallowed.

Chemical Digestion

The chemical breakdown of food by enzymes or chemicals.

Epiglottis

Covers the larynx during swallowing to prevent food or liquids from entering the lungs.

Mechanical Digestion

The physical breakdown of food into smaller pieces.

Palate

Also known as the "roof" of your mouth; The tongue presses food against the palate and mixes it with saliva to break it down before swallowing.

Salivary Amylase

An enzyme found in saliva that chemically breaks down starches into single sugars.

Salivary Glands

Glands in the mouth which release saliva to aid in the chemical digestion of foods while you chew.