This lab will exam how digestive enzymes and chew motions work to breakdown and digest food materials. We will examine the action of amylase (in particular) under certain conditions that may effect the rate of digestion.
The use of enzymes and chemicals by the body to breakdown larger materials into smaller materials allows for the body to absorb nutrients that is needed to survive. This lab is designed to exam the principles behind how the gastrointestinal works to make smaller and smaller particles of food in order to insure that the maximum amount of nutrients are absorbed.
Enzymes begin to digest carbohydrates in the mouth during mastication with the excretion of amylase into saliva. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks complex sugars (polysaccharides) into simpler sugars (disaccharides or monosaccharides). In particular, amylase digests starches (polysaccharides of glucose) into maltose (disaccharide of glucose) and that maltose into glucose by breaking apart the bond between the glucose molecules.
Not only will enzymes involved the digestion process, but the action of chewing also is involved. It does this my mechanically tearing at the food materials making them smaller in size. This smaller size allows for a greater interaction of the molecules within the food with the digestive enzymes contained in the saliva and increases the total amount of enzyme digestion the begins prior to the person the swallowing.