Insalivation of food
The saliva, among other functions, serves to:
- Moisten the food to detect the taste.
- Lubricate the food to facilitate swallowing.
- Begin the chemical digestion of carbohydrates, mainly starch.
- It contains some enzymes, such as lysozyme, which attack some bacteria that exist in food, so it also has a defensive function.
Saliva contains amylase, a digestive enzyme that starts the digestion of starch. The food crushed and mixed with saliva forms the cud (food bolus).
There are three salivary glands that produce between 1 and 1.5 liters of saliva a day. They are the sublingual, submaxillary and parotid salivary glands.