Digestion and Food

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Energy in context


Digestion is the breakdown of large insoluble food molecules into smaller molecules so they can pass though the intestinal wall into the bloodstream and be transported throughout the body.

There are seven different food groups in a balanced diet which should include Carbohydrate, fat, water, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Although most foods contain these in some shape or form the foods that contain most of one type fall into that category, a chicken fillet for example would fall under the protein category because it contains more protein per hundred grams than any other nutrient.

This assignment will explain the systems and processes necessary for the digestion of a Beef sandwich and a chicken Tikka Masala with rice.

In the digestion of a beef sandwich containing sliced Beef, bread, butter and a chicken Tikka Masala there are different stages of where food is broken down. Enzymes are added at different times to ensure the food is absorbed properly.

Digestion technically starts in the brain. Even before food touches your lips the stomach is already preparing for the food about to be ingested. The ingestion process starts with taking food into the mouth (eating and drinking). The purpose of this is so the food can be cut into smaller pieces and saliva is added before it is swallowed. This is where the first enzymes start work. There are two enzymes found in the saliva of the mouth, salivary amylase and lingual lipase. Amylase breaks down dietary carbohydrates such as monosaccharides, disaccharide sugars and complex polysaccharides (starch). Monosaccharide’s can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream so the others need to be broken down into these before they can be absorbed (Derrickson, Tortora 2006 p906). The salivary amylase starts to break down the polysaccharide starch found in the bread of sandwich and the rice in the chicken Tikka meal while it is being chewed.

Once the food has been swallowed...
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