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THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM Mouth Salivary glands Esophagus Liver Gallbladder Small intestine Stomach Pancreas Large intestine DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: Structures and Functions ORGAN NAME FUNCTION Mouth Food is taken in here; mechanical and chemical digestion begins. Salivary Glands Produce saliva; enzymes needed for digestion are released Esophagus Long narrow tube that connects the mouth to the stomach; food is pushed down through the tube through PERISTALSIS Stomach Large muscle where most food digestion occurs; filled with GASTRIC JUICES to break down food into smaller particles Liver Produces bile, which helps break down fats Gall bladder Stores bile from the liver and releases it into the small intestine. Pancreas Stores digestive enzymes and releases them into the small intestine. Small Intestine Absorbs nutrients through VILLI, which increase the surface area; each villus is covered with tissue that contains MICROVILLI for greater absorption of nutrients. Large Intestine Absorbs water and some vitamins & minerals and removes excess wastes from the body.