Explain how proteins break down to amino acids
Proteins are composed of long chains of amino acids. These amino acids are held together by peptide bonds, which are chemical bonds that form between the nitrogen atom of one amino acid and the carboxyl group of another.
Proteins can be broken down into their individual amino acids through a process called hydrolysis. This process involves the use of water to break the peptide bonds that hold the amino acids together.
Hydrolysis can be carried out by enzymes known as proteases, which are found in the stomach, small intestine, and pancreas. These enzymes work to break down the proteins in our diet into smaller peptides and amino acids that can be absorbed and used by the body.
Hydrolysis can also be carried out chemically, by adding an acid or a base to a protein solution. This process can be used to break down proteins for a variety of purposes, such as the production of food additives or the isolation of specific amino acids for use in the laboratory.
In summary, proteins are broken down into amino acids through the process of hydrolysis, which involves the use of water or a chemical reagent to break the peptide bonds that hold the amino acids together.