Digestion

Mechanical Digestion and Chemical Digestion – The Difference

Mechanical digestion and chemical digestion

are processes of the digestive system that enable the digestion, absorption and the excretion of the ingested food. Starting from the mouth into the esophagus, and then into the stomach and the intestines both these digestive processes play an important hand in achieving the above three activities (digestion, absorption and excretion).

Let us see how

mechanical digestion and chemical digestion

differ.

Differences Between Mechanical Digestion and Chemical Digestion:

First, let us look at the primary difference between these two digestive processes. The primary difference is in the areas where these two processes takes place. While mechanical digestion happens primarily in the mouth and to a certain extent in the stomach, chemical digestion takes place primarily in the stomach and then the intestines and the mouth.

Let us look at the other differences as well.

  • While the teeth play the most important role in mechanical digestion, it is the enzymes present in the stomach that play an important role in the chemical digestion process. Another difference is that the muscles of the stomach can affect mechanical digestion while it is the hydrochloric acid in the stomach that affects the chemical part.
  • As the names suggest, mechanical digestion involves mechanical energy and chemical digestion involves chemical energy. Mechanical energy because, it involves chewing and the traveling of the food into the intestines. Chemical energy because, the enzymes that take part in the digestive process release the energy.
  • Mechanical digestion is evident, where one can see the breaking down of large food particles into smaller ones after being ground by the teeth. While the chemical changes that take place happen within the body and are not visible. For instance, starch is converted into simpler sugars, the enzyme pepsin is converted into peptide et.

Both the

mechanical digestion and the chemical digestion

processes are equally important and are required to complement each other.

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