Thursday, September 20, 2012

Digestion-Small Intestine Part 2

Today we looked at how fat and protein are digested even further in the small intestine with the help of the liver by doing an emulsification project. I explained how in order to properly break down and digest fat, people need the liver and the gall bladder to do their jobs. The liver is the one responsible for producing bile and storing it in our gall bladder until it is needed in the small intestine.

Our experiment came from an excellent science resource filled with tons of friendly information and awesome experiments:
Product Details 

Our project consisted of seeing emulsification in action. We used milk as suggested because it contains fats and proteins in solution. The following materials are needed:
(cups, detergent, food coloring, milk)

We placed about 1/4 cup of milk in a cup, added a small spoonful of detergent to bring the substances that are normally not soluble together. We jotted our observations. It was still difficult to "see" the fats/proteins clumped together. We then added the food coloring and we saw the explosion of colors. It was then much easier to observe the fats/proteins in the milk. We discussed that because bile emulsifies fats, bringing them together with water, this makes it much easier for enzymes to get at the fats/proteins and break them down even further in the small intestine.

It was really neat to see their faces as they were making their observations...and of course hearing them say, "Wow! How cool!" makes teaching so worth it.

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