NCERT Solution for Class 11 Biology Chapter 16 DIGESTION AND ABSORPTION

Welcome to Swastik Classes! In this comprehensive NCERT Solution series, we present to you the detailed solutions for Class 11 Biology Chapter 16: “Digestion and Absorption.” This chapter delves into the fascinating world of the digestive system and the intricate processes involved in breaking down food and absorbing nutrients.

In this chapter, we explore the various organs and structures of the digestive system, their functions, and the mechanisms by which food is converted into usable forms for the body. From the mechanical and chemical digestion of food to the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream, we cover it all. Our meticulously crafted solutions aim to provide you with a deep understanding of this fundamental biological process.

Our team of experienced educators has meticulously analyzed and broken down each concept, ensuring clarity and simplicity in explanations. These solutions are designed to help you grasp the intricate details of digestion and absorption, ensuring that you can confidently tackle any question related to this topic.

We understand that mastering biology requires more than just rote learning. Therefore, our solutions include insightful explanations, diagrams, and examples, enabling you to connect theoretical knowledge with real-life applications. By using our NCERT solutions, you will not only enhance your conceptual understanding but also develop problem-solving skills to excel in examinations.

At Swastik Classes, we are committed to providing you with the best educational resources. Our NCERT Solution series for Class 11 Biology Chapter 16: “Digestion and Absorption” is a valuable tool to help you navigate through the complexities of this chapter. We believe that a solid foundation in biology will equip you to understand the intricate processes of nutrient utilization and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

So, embark on this learning journey with us and let’s unravel the mysteries of digestion and absorption together!

NCERT Solution for Class 11 Biology Chapter 16 DIGESTION AND ABSORPTION – Exercises

1. Choose the correct answer among the following:

(a) Gastric juice contains

(i) pepsin, lipase and rennin

(ii) trypsin, lipase and rennin

(iii) trypsin, pepsin and lipase

(iv) trypsin, pepsin and rennin.

(b) Succus entericus is the name given to

(i) a junction between ileum and large intestine

(ii) intestinal juice

(iii) swelling in the gut

(iv) appendix.

Sol. (a) (i) Pepsin, lipase and rennin

(b) (ii) Intestinal juice

2. Match column I with column II.

Column I                         Column II

(a) Bilirubin and           (i)Parotid biliverdin

(b) Hydrolysis of          (ii)Bile starch

(c) Digestion of fat       (iii)Lipases

(d) Salivary gland        (iv) Amylases

Sol. (a), – (ii),- (b) – (iv), (c) – (iii),- (d) – (i)

3. Answer briefly:

(a) Why are villi present in the intestine and not in the stomach?

(b) How does pepsinogen change into its active form ?

(c) What are the basic layers of the wall of alimentary canal?

(d) How does bile help in the digestion of fats ?

Sol. (a) The absorptive surface area of small intestine is enormously increased by microvilli and as maximum absorption

of digested food takes place in small intestine as compared to other organs, therefore, villi are present in small intestine and not in stomach. Moreover, stomach is primarily associated with temporary storage of food.

(b) The proenzyme pepsinogen, on exposure to hydrochloric acid, secreted by oxyntic cells of gastric glands gets converted into the active enzyme pepsin, the proteolytic enzyme of the stomach.

(c) The wall of alimentary canal from oesophagus to rectum possesses four layers, namely serosa, muscularis, sub-mucosa and mucosa. Serosa is the outermost layer and is made up of a thin mesothelium with some connective tissues. Muscularis is formed by smooth muscles. The sub-mucosal layer is formed of loose connective tissues containing nerves, blood and lymph vessels. In duodenum, glands are also present in sub-mucosa. The innermost layer lining the lumen of the alimentary canal is the mucosa. This layer forms irregular folds (rugae) in the stomach and small finger¬like foldings called villi in the small intestine.

(d) Bile has no enzymes but contains bile salts, namely, sodium bicarbonate, sodium glycocholate and sodium taurocholate that reduce the surface tension of large fat droplets and break them into many small droplets by a process known as emulsification. These small fat droplets present large surface area for lipase (fat digesting enzyme) to act upon them. Moreover, bile also activates lipases.

4. State the role of pancreatic juice in digestion of proteins.

Sol. The pancreatic juice contains inactive enzymes – trypsinogen, chymo trypsinogen, procarboxy peptidases. Trypsinogen is acti¬vated by an enzyme enterokinase, (secreted by the intestinal mucosa) into active trypsin, which in turn activates the other enzymes of the pancreatic juice. Proteins, proteoses and peptones (partially hydrolysed proteins) in the chyme reaching the intestine are acted upon by these proteolytic enzymes of pancre¬atic juice.


5. Describe the process of digestion of protein in stomach.

Sol. The gastric glands of the stomach secrete gastric juice that contains HCl and proenzymes – pepsinogen and prorennin. The proenzyme pepsinogen, on exposure to HCl gets converted into the active enzyme pepsin, the proteolytic enzyme of stomach. The pepsin converts proteins into proteoses and peptones (peptides). Prorennin is found in gastric juice of infants and is activated by pepsin into active rennin. It helps in digestion of milk protein casein.


6. Give the dental formula of human beings.

Sol. The dental formula of human beings is


It shows arrangement of teeth in each half of

the upper and lower jaw.


7. Bile juice contains no digestive enzymes, yet it is important for digestion. Why ?

Sol. Bile has no enzymes but contains bile salts, namely, sodium bicarbonate, sodium glycocholate and sodium taurocholate that reduce the surface tension of large fat drop¬lets and break them into many small droplets by a process known as emulsification. These small fat droplets present large surface area for lipase (fat digesting enzyme) to act upon them. Moreover, bile also activates lipases.


8. Describe the digestive role of chymotrypsin. Which two other digestive enzymes of the same category are secreted by its source gland ?

Sol. Chymotrypsin is a proteolytic enzyme of pancreatic juice secreted by exocrine part of pancreas. It helps in digestion of proteins. It converts proteins, peptones and proteoses into oligopeptides and dipeptides. Two other proteolytic enzymes present in pancreatic juice are trypsinogen and procarboxy peptidase.

9. How are polysaccharides and disaccharides digested ?

Sol. Digestion of polysaccharides (starch and glycogen) starts from buccal cavity. In buccal cavity, polysac charides are acted upon by salivary amylase or ptyalin which splits starch and glycogen into disaccharides and small dextrins called ‘a’ dextrin.


The digestion of carbohydrates does not occur in stomach because gastric juice itself has no carbohydrase.

In small intestine, the food mixes with two juices, pancreatic juice and intestinal juice. Pancreatic juice contains a carbohydrase named pancreatic amylase. This enzyme hydrolyses more starch and glycogen.


Intestinal juice contains carbohydrases; maltase, isomaltase, a-dextrinase, sucrase and lactase which act on disaccharides as follows:


fructose and galactose are monomers of carbohydrates. These are absorbed by intestinal mucosa.

10. What would happen if HCl were not secreted in the stomach ?

Sol. HCl is secreted by parietal or oxyntic cells of gastric glands. It serves the following functions:

1. It activates the pepsinogen and prorennin into their active form pepsin and rennin.

2. It provides the acidic pH (pH 1.8) optimal for pepsin.

3. It kills the harmful bacteria present in the food.

4. It stops the action of saliva on food. Pepsin and rennin are the principle proteolytic enzymes of stomach. If these enzymes are not activated by HCl then digestion of protein will not take place in stomach, and also the harmful bacteria can cause various diseases.

11. How does butter in your food get digested and absorbed in the body ?

Sol. Butter is a saturated fat. Fats and oils of the ingested food are triglycerides.

They are digested by lipases. Small intestine is the principal organ for fat digestion.

In the small intestine food meets three secretions, bile, pancreatic juice and intestinal juice, all alkaline in nature.

Bile contains no enzyme but it contains bile salts which reduces the surface tension of large fat droplets and breaks them into smaller ones (emulsification).


Emulsified triglycerides Pancreatic juice contains pancreatic lipase, which is the principal fat digesting enzyme. It is activated by bile.


Fatty acid + Glycerol Intestinal lipase found in intestinal juice hydrolyses some triglycerides, diglycerides and monoglycerides to fatty acids and glycerol like pancreatic lipase.

Fatty acids, glycerol and monoglycerides are the end products of fat digestion and being insoluble in water cannot be directly absorbed from the intestinal contents. So they combine with the bile salts and phospholipids to form micelles (water soluble). From the micelles fatty acids, glycerides, sterols and fat soluble vitamins are absorbed into the intestinal cells by diffusion where they are resynthesised in the ER and are converted into very small protein coated fat molecules (droplets) called chylomicrons. The latter are released from the intestinal cells into the lymph present in the lymphatic capillaries, the lacteals. These lacteals ultimately release the absorbed substances into the blood stream.

12. Discuss the main steps in the digestion of proteins as the food passes through different parts of the alimentary canal.

Sol. Proteins of ingested food are broken down into amino acids by proteases (peptidases). Proteases are secreted in inactive forms called proenzymes which are converted into active forms at site of their action. Protein digestion starts in the stomach and is completed in the small intestine. Saliva contains no protease.

Digestion of proteins in stomach : Chief cells of gastric gland secrete pepsinogen and prorennin, which act as follows:


Digestion of proteins in small intestine: In small intestine, peptones and proteoses are acted upon by enzymes of pancreatic juice and intestinal juice.

Pancreatic juice contains 3 inactive proteases; trypsinogen, chymotry psinogen and pro-carboxy peptidase. Their action is as follows:


Dipeptides + Amino acids Intestinal juice contains two digestive pro-teases; amino peptidases and dipeptidases and a nondigestive enterokinase (enteropep- tidase).


Amino acids are the end products of protein digestion which are absorbed by intestinal cells.

13. Explain the term thecodont and diphyodont.

Sol. Thecodont: In human, each tooth is embedded in a socket of jaw bone. Such teeth are described as thecodont.

Diphyodont: Majority of mammals including human beings form two sets of teeth during their life, a set of temporary milk or deciduous teeth replaced by a set of permanent or adult teeth. This type of dentition is called diphyodont.

14. Name different types of teeth and their number in an adult human.

Sol. Adult human has 32 teeth with the


Human has heterodont dentition i.e., having four different types of teeth. The number of different types of teeth in human are as follows:incisors = 8, canines = 4, premolars = 8, molars = 12

15. What are the functions of liver?

Sol. Liver is the largest gland of the body and consists of hepatic cells. Besides being a digestive gland, the liver performs a number of functions for the welfare of body. Its varied functions are as follows

1. Secretion of bile.

2. Glycogenesis, gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis.

3. Storage of fat, glycogen, vitamins like A, D, E, K and B12, blood, water, etc.

4. Deamination of amino acids.

5. Synthesis of urea.

6. Elimination of excretory substances.

7. Detoxification of harmful substances.

8. Formation and breakdown of blood

corpuscles, i.e., in embryos, liver is haemopoietic (produces red blood corpuscles) and in adults its Kupffer cells phagocytise and destroy worn out and dead RBCs.

9. Secretion of blood proteins, i.e., pro-thrombin and fibrinogen.

10. Secretion of anticoagulant heparin.

11. Production of heat.

12. Secretion of enzymes.

Conclusions for NCERT Solution for Class 11 Biology Chapter 16 DIGESTION AND ABSORPTION

The NCERT Solution series for Class 11 Biology Chapter 16: “Digestion and Absorption” by Swastik Classes provides a comprehensive and insightful understanding of the digestive system and the processes involved in breaking down food and absorbing nutrients.

Throughout this chapter, we have explored the intricacies of digestion and absorption, including the structure and functions of various organs of the digestive system, the role of enzymes in breaking down food, and the mechanisms by which nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Our meticulously crafted solutions aim to simplify complex concepts, making it easier for students to grasp and apply their knowledge. The detailed explanations, diagrams, and examples provided in our solutions help students connect theoretical knowledge with real-life applications, fostering a holistic approach to learning.

By using our NCERT solutions, students have the opportunity to deepen their conceptual understanding and develop problem-solving skills. This knowledge empowers them to not only excel in examinations but also understand the importance of proper nutrition and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

At Swastik Classes, we strive to provide the best educational resources, and our NCERT Solution series for Class 11 Biology Chapter 16: “Digestion and Absorption” is no exception. We believe that a strong foundation in biology is essential for students to appreciate the wonders of the human body and pursue their academic goals.

We hope that our solutions have equipped students with the necessary tools to confidently tackle any question related to this chapter. By mastering the concepts covered in this chapter, students will be well-prepared to explore further topics in biology and gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of life.

Thank you for choosing Swastik Classes as your trusted learning companion. We wish you success in your biology studies and encourage you to continue exploring the fascinating world of science!

  1. Q: What is the difference between mechanical digestion and chemical digestion? A: Mechanical digestion involves the physical breakdown of food into smaller pieces, such as chewing and churning in the stomach. Chemical digestion, on the other hand, involves the use of enzymes and other chemicals to break down complex molecules into simpler forms that can be absorbed by the body.
  2. Q: How does the structure of the small intestine contribute to absorption? A: The small intestine has a highly specialized structure that enhances absorption. It is lined with numerous finger-like projections called villi, which further have microscopic finger-like structures called microvilli. These structures significantly increase the surface area available for absorption, allowing for efficient absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream.
  3. Q: What is the role of enzymes in the digestive system? A: Enzymes are biological catalysts that facilitate chemical reactions in the body. In the digestive system, enzymes play a crucial role in breaking down complex macromolecules into simpler forms that can be absorbed. For example, amylase breaks down starch into simpler sugars, proteases break down proteins into amino acids, and lipases break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol.
  4. Q: What happens to the absorbed nutrients after digestion? A: Once nutrients are absorbed by the small intestine, they enter the bloodstream. From there, they are transported to various cells and tissues throughout the body. The absorbed nutrients are utilized for energy production, growth, repair, and maintenance of body functions.
  5. Q: How is the acidity of the stomach beneficial for digestion? A: The stomach has a highly acidic environment due to the presence of hydrochloric acid. This acidity serves several purposes. It activates the enzyme pepsinogen to its active form, pepsin, which helps in the digestion of proteins. The acidic environment also kills many harmful microorganisms that might be present in the ingested food, protecting the body from potential infections.
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