Bolus (digestion)

In digestion, a bolus (from Latin bolus, "ball") is a ball-like mixture of food and saliva that forms in the mouth during the process of chewing (which is largely an adaptation for plant-eating mammals).[1] It has the same color as the food being eaten, and the saliva gives it an alkaline pH.

Under normal circumstances, the bolus is swallowed, and travels down the esophagus to the stomach for digestion.[2][3] Once the bolus reaches the stomach, it mixes with gastric juices and becomes chyme, which then travels through the intestines for further digestion and absorption, and eventual discharge as feces.

See also


  1. "Digestion in the Mouth, Pharynx and Esophagus". Boundless. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  2. "Bolus – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  3. "bolus (biology) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
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