Bolus (digestion)

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This bolus from an albatross has several ingested flotsam items, including monofilament from fishing nets and a discarded toothbrush. Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals

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]

See also[edit]


  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.