Difference Between Bolus and Chyme (With Table)

A human is exposed to various biological and mechanical processes in which different body parts are involved. Some of these processes are respiratory process, digestive process, excretion process, etc. The digestive process is one of the most complex processes carried out in the human body. 

In the digestive process, the body parts such as the mouth, esophagus, intestines, stomach, etc are involved and the product obtained after processing food in each part Is different. Bolus and chyme are two such products obtained after processing food in the mouth and stomach respectively but they are often confused with one another.

The bolus is a product obtained in the initial stage of the digestive process just after chewing the food and chyme is the product obtained when food is mixed with gastric juices. Both of these products undergo chemical and mechanical digestion. 

Bolus vs Chyme

The difference between bolus and chyme is that the bolus is a ball-like structure formed on the mixing of food and saliva in the mouth. Chyme is a semi-liquid substance formed in the stomach on mixing food and gastric juices and helps in easing the digestion process.

Comparison Table Between Bolus and Chyme

Parameter of ComparisonBolusChyme
What does it mean?The bolus is defined as the ball like structure obtained by mixing food and saliva in the mouth at the initial stage of the digestive process. Chyme is semi liquid or paste-like substance formed in the stomach as a result of the mixing of food and gastric juices. 
Formation processThe bolus is a result or product of the chewing process in which the food is mixed with saliva at the initial stage of digestion.The chyme is the result of churning of the mixture of food and gastric juices in the stomach
Composition and natureThe bolus is a mixture of food and saliva and it is alkaline in nature.The chyme is the product formed after the food is mixed with the gastric juices and it is more acidic in nature.
FunctionThe function of the bolus is to breakdown the food so that the further action of enzymes can take place.The most important function of chyme is to increase the surface area of food to ease the digestive processes.
Degree of digestion, texture and colorThe bolus is formed at the beginning of the digestion process, it has a ball-like texture and the color is similar to that of the food.The chyme is a partly finished product of digestion, it is a semi liquid creamy paste and has the color of natural food.

What is Bolus?

In the digestive process, the bolus is a ball like soft structure of food when saliva is mixed with it formed in the mouth just after the intake of food and chewing it. It makes way from the mouth to the stomach. 

Teeth and saliva convert the food into a bolus. The bolus is alkaline in nature due to the nature of salivary enzymes. It has a color that is similar to the color of the food. It is always obtained in the initial stage of the process since it is the result of chewing food. 

The main function of the bolus is to breakdown the food into small pieces which in turn increases the surface area of food upon which enzymes act.

What is Chyme?

In the digestive process, the chyme also termed as chymus is a semi-liquid or paste like product of food obtained when the food is mixed with the gastric juices in the stomach. It is digested in the stomach. 

In other words, chyme is the result of further mechanical processing of the bolus. The gastric juices present in the stomach are responsible for the formation of the chyme. The chyme is more acidic because gastric juices are acidic. It had the color of natural food.

The main function of the chyme is to increase the surface area of food to ease the digestive process.

Main Differences Between Bolus and Chyme

  1. The bolus is a term used to refer to the soft spherical of food obtained when saliva is mixed with food while chyme refers to the semi liquid product obtained when gastric juices are mixed with food.
  2. In other words, it can be said that bolus is food mixed with saliva and chyme is the food mixed with gastric juices.
  3. The bolus is obtained in the mouth and makes way to the stomach whereas the chyme goes from the stomach to the small intestine. 
  4. The bolus is converted to chyme in further stages of digestion whereas the chyme is digested in the stomach.
  5. The bolus is the result of a chewing process in the mouth and chyme is the result of the churning of food and gastric juices. 
  6. The bolus is alkaline in nature, on the other hand, chyme is acidic in nature.
  7. The bolus is soft and spherical whereas the chyme has semi liquid or paste like texture. 
  8. The color of the bolus is similar to that of the food whereas chyme has a color of natural food. 
  9. The bolus is obtained at the beginning of the digestive process whereas chyme is obtained in the later stages of the process. 
  10. The main function of the bolus is breaking down food whereas the main function of chyme is increasing the surface area of food to ease the digestive process. 

Conclusion

Conclusively, both the processes are similar in many ways since they are a part of a single process. Bolus and chyme differ in the way they are obtained. However, the bolus can also be termed as the raw material for the chyme. 

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2982.2006.00759.x
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025556411000952