Chewing and Swallowing

Chewing and Swallowing

Author: Aaron Mullally

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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  • Mechanical Digestion

    The physical breakdown of food into smaller pieces.

  • Chemical Digestion

    The chemical breakdown of food by enzymes or chemicals.

  • Salivary Glands

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

  • Salivary Amylase

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

  • Bolus

    The ball of chewed food that is swallowed.

  • 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.

  • Epiglottis

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