The food vacuole, or digestive vacuole, is an organelle found in parasites that cause malaria. During the stage of the parasites' lifecycle where it resides within a human (or other mammalian) red blood cell, it is the site of haemoglobin digestion and the formation of the large haemozoin crystals that can be seen under a light microscope.
- Banerjee, R.; Liu, J.; Beatty, W.; Pelosof, L.; Klemba, M.; Goldberg, D. E. (2002). "Four plasmepsins are active in the Plasmodium falciparum food vacuole, including a protease with an active-site histidine". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99 (2): 990–995. doi:10.1073/pnas.022630099. PMC 117418. PMID 11782538.