Observing Emulsification And Comparing The Actions Of Saliva And Pepsin: Lab Report Describing How Emulsification May Be Observed In The Lab

2164 words - 9 pages

IntroductionAim: The objectives of this lab experiment are to observe the process of emulsification and to compare the actions of pepsin and saliva (Amylase).Background Information: The function of the human digestive system is to digest food that is taken in. Digestion is the process by which large, solid substances such as fats and proteins are broken down into small soluble substances. Digestion consists of two main processes, physical digestion and chemical digestion. Physical digestion is the breaking down of foods by physical means, i.e., not changing the substance itself, only its state. Physical digestion takes place mainly in the mouth and stomach, where it is chewed, grinded, and mixed. Chemical digestion breaks down large molecular substances into simpler substances, changing their chemical properties and structure, using digestive enzymes. Chemical digestion occurs mainly in the stomach and small intestine. Saliva containing amylase acts on starch to break it down into maltose, in the mouth, starting the process by which starch is broken down. After it has been swallowed, the food passes down the oesophagus into the stomach. The stomach consists of gastric glands that produce gastric juice, which contains pepsin, an enzyme that dissolves proteins into simpler substances called polypeptides. After spending three or four hours in the stomach, the food travels to the small intestine. The small intestine is where digestion is completed and its soluble products are absorbed. The small intestine receives fluid called bile from the liver. Bile consists mainly of bile salts and sodium hydrogen carbonate. The bile is slowly secreted into the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum. This is where emulsification takes place. Emulsification is a physical process whereby large globules of fat are broken down into smaller globules and made water soluble, using bile salts. Bile salts are types of emulsifiers. An emulsifier is a molecule with one oil-friendly end and one water-friendly. In this way droplets of oil are surrounded by the emulsifier molecule, with the oil core hidden by the water-friendly tails of the emulsifier. Another common emulsifier is soap. Soap surrounds fat molecules with its oil-friendly end, and allows water to wash away the grease using the water-friendly end. The small intestine also receives pancreatic juice from the pancreas which contains three principal enzymes that aid in digestion: amylase, trypsin, and lipase. Amylase continues the process started in the mouth by breaking starch into maltose. Trypsin, like pepsin, further breaks proteins into polypeptides. Lipase breaks down the small globules of fat into fatty acids and glycerol, completing the digestion of fats. Finally, intestinal glands in the small intestine produce maltase and peptidases. Maltase is an enzyme which breaks maltose down into glucose, thus completing digestion of starch. Peptidases are enzymes...

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