digestion of food in the elementary canal

DIGESTION OF FOOD IN THE ELEMENTARY CANAL OF FARM ANIMAL. what if the elementary canal, also called the digestive tract? the elementary canal is the pathway by which food enters the body and solid wastes are expelled.

The alimentary canal includes the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus.

Digestion of Food Process

Digestion is a complex process that involves the breakdown of food into smaller, absorbable components. The digestive system, also known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract or elementary canal, plays a crucial role in this process. Here’s an overview of the digestion of food in the elementary canal:

1. Mouth (Oral Cavity) Part Of Food Digestion:

  • Mechanical Digestion:
    • Chewing breaks down food into smaller particles, increasing its surface area for chemical digestion.
  • Chemical Digestion:
    • Salivary glands secrete saliva-containing enzymes like amylase.
    • Amylase breaks down starch into maltose (a disaccharide).
digestion of food

2. Pharynx:

  • Shared pathway for both air and food.
  • No significant digestion occurs here.

3. Esophagus:

  • Peristalsis:
    • Muscular contractions propel the food bolus from the pharynx to the stomach.

4. Stomach:

  • Mechanical Digestion:
    • Muscular contractions mix food with gastric juice, forming chyme.
  • Chemical Digestion:
    • Gastric glands secrete gastric juice containing hydrochloric acid and pepsin.
    • Pepsin breaks down proteins into peptides. read more here

5. Small Intestine:

  • Duodenum (First Part):
    • Chemical Digestion:
      • Bile from the liver and pancreatic juice from the pancreas enter.
      • Bile emulsifies fats, increasing their surface area.
      • Pancreatic enzymes (lipase, protease, amylase) further break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
  • Jejunum and Ileum (Remaining Parts):
    • Chemical Digestion:
      • Enzymes on the brush border of the small intestine’s lining break down disaccharides into monosaccharides.
      • Peptidases break down peptides into amino acids. Amino Acids
  • Absorption:
    • Villi and microvilli increase the surface area for nutrient absorption.
    • Nutrients (amino acids, fatty acids, monosaccharides) are absorbed into the bloodstream.

6. Large Intestine (Colon):

  • Absorption of Water and Electrolytes:
    • The remaining water and electrolytes are absorbed from the undigested material, forming faeces.
  • Bacterial Fermentation:
    • Bacteria in the colon break down undigested carbohydrates, producing gases and some vitamins (e.g., vitamin K, and B vitamins).

7. Rectum:

  • Fecal material is stored here before elimination.

8. Anus:

  • Defecation:
    • Fecal material is expelled from the body through the anus.

Additional Notes:

  • Hormonal Regulation:
    • Hormones such as gastrin, secretin, and cholecystokinin (CCK) regulate digestive processes by stimulating or inhibiting the secretion of digestive juices.
  • Nervous Control:
    • The enteric nervous system (a network of neurons within the GI tract) and the autonomic nervous system control digestive functions.

Digestion is a coordinated process involving both mechanical and chemical components, ensuring the breakdown of complex nutrients into forms that can be absorbed and utilized by the body for energy and growth.

What is the elementary canal’s basic function in regard to the digestion of food?

This is the digestive system in man through which food substances are taken in and by which nutrients are taken into the bloodstream. The elementary canal in man includes the following

i. Mouth
ii. Oesophagus
iii. Stomach
iv. Duodenum
v. Small intestine
vi. Large intestine or colon
vii. Rectum
viii. Anus

The importance of the parts of the elementary canal during the digestion of food

1. Functions of the teeth
i. The teeth are used to cut, grind and chew food into tiny particles
ii. The teeth expose large areas of food for the action of enzymes

Functions of the tongue

i. The tongue helps to roll the food into a bolus
ii. The tongue aids the movement of food in the mouth
iii. The tongue allows the mixing of food in the mouth with saliva or ptyalin-enzyme
iv. The tongue aids in swallowing food into the Oesophagus or gullet

Functions of the salivary gland during digestion of food in the elementary canal

i. The salivary gland is part of the digestive system which secretes saliva which in turn contains an enzyme called ptyalin.
ii. ptyalin is an enzyme that breaks down starch into maltose which is later swallowed into the gullet in the form of a bolus
iii. It allows for the easy chewing or movement of food in the mouth for swallowing
iv. It also serves as a solvent for food

Functions of the Oesophagus/Gullet in the elementary canal:

The Oesophagus connects the mouth to the stomach. The food swallowed is passed down through the Oesophagus by a movement called peristaltic movement.

Functions of the stomach:

i. The stomach is a temporary storage for food which takes just a few hours which is then released through the opening of the pyloric sphincter at regular intervals.
ii. In the stomach, the gastric gland secretes gastric juice which contains two enzymes, the RENIN and PEPSIN
iii. The renin acts on milk. It helps to curdle milk.
iv. The pepsin breaks down protein into peptones

v. The gastric gland also secretes hydrochloric acid (HCL) which creates an acid medium for two enzymes to act.
vi. The HCL also helps to kill bacteria in the stomach.
vii. The food is churned by muscular contraction of the stomach wall which enables the mixing of food with digestive juice-enzymes
viii. The churning movement then converts the food into a semi-liquid state called chyme

Functions of the DUODENUM during digestion

I. The digestion of food takes place in this region of the elementary.
II. The Duodenum contains the pancreas which secretes pancreatic juice that contains three enzymes. These enzymes are
1. Amylase: this enzyme converts starch to maltose
2. Lipase: lipase converts fats and oil to fatty acid and glycerol

3. Trypsin: trypsin converts proteins and peptones to polypeptides
iii. The pancreatic juice is alkaline and provides a medium for enzymes
iv. The digestion of fats and oil is aided by a green alkaline liquid called BILE which is secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder.

The bile helps in the emulsification of fats-meaning breaking down fats into tiny droplets

vi. At the end of the digestion in the Duodenum, the food which is now in liquid form called chyme, passes into the ileum or small intestine

The functions of the small intestine

i. The small intestine also known as the ileum is found between the Duodenum and large intestine
ii. Two major events take place in the small intestine
iii. These events are 1. Digestion and 2. Absorption of the digested food

DIGESTION of food also takes place in the small intestine or ileum

v. The intestinal wall secretes intestinal juice which contains the following enzymes, lipase, erepsin, maltase, sucrose and lactase

The lipase converts fats and oil to fatty acid and glycerol

how Erepsin converts polypeptides to amino acid

Maltase converts maltose to two units of glucose


converts sucrose to glucose and fructose

Lactase converts lactose to glucose and galactose

In man, the final digestion of food ends in the small intestine.
The end products in the digestion of protein are amino acids, fats and oil, fatty acid and glycerol while of starch ends in glucose

ABSORPTION OF FOOD in the elementary canal

The end product of the digestion of food, which are amino acids, glucose, fatty acids and glycerol are absorbed in the small intestine by tiny finger-like structures called villi, Villus for singular.

The folding of the small intestine and the numerous villi presence create a large surface area for the absorption of digested food nutrients.
The inner surface layer or epithelium of each villus is thin.
This allows the end product by either diffusion or by active transport through it. DIGESTION OF FOOD IN THE ELEMENTARY CANAL

The glucose and amino acids are easily absorbed by blood capillaries through the epithelium while the fatty acid and glycerol enter the lacteal where they are carried through the lymph vessels which eventually empty their contents into the blood vessels near the heart.
The blood then carries the fats and other food materials to various parts of the body where they are needed.


The functions of the caecum and appendix are not well defined or known in man but are well known to contain some bacteria which aid minor digestion of cellulose.
Some vitamins such as K and B-complex are partially synthesized in this region


i. The undigested food particles pass into the colon or large intestine.
ii. Here in the large intestine, water is absorbed in DIGESTION OF FOOD IN THE ELEMENTARY CANAL
iii. This absorption of water, concentrates the waste products and turns them into faeces.
iv. These faeces is finally passed into the rectum and then eventually pushed out of the body through the anus.


Enzymes perform the following functions within the body. They are
1. Enzymes help in breaking down proteins in food into amino acid
2. They help to break down fats and oil into fatty acids and glycerol
3. Enzymes helps to break down carbohydrates into glucose, fructose and galactose
4. The digestive enzymes aid in the absorption of digested food through the addition of water to the food

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