What is the role of saliva in the digestion of food?


Saliva initiates the process of digestion in the mouth. The food substance which gets mixed with the food in the mouth during chewing by teeth is saliva. It acts as digestive juice and softens the food, which further leads to the easy process of digestion. It is secreted by salivary glands.

Diagram Of The Human Digestive System

Role of saliva in the digestion of food

The role of saliva in the digestion of food are,

  • It moistens the food for easy swallowing.
  • It contains a digestive enzyme called salivary amylase, which breaks down starch into sugar.
  • Lubricates and moistens food, thus aiding in swallowing
  • Aids in food particles to stick together for the formation of the bolus, so that they cab swallowed as a mass
  • Cleans the mouth, tending to destroy germs to prevent tooth decay
  • Brings about the conversion of starch into maltose through the enzyme ptyalin

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