Past Questions and Answers on Nutrition in Mammals



1.      Proteins may be used in the

A. formation of strong bones 
B. prevention of scurvy  
C. formation of hormones
D  development of strong bones

2. Which of the following is not a function of hydrochloric acid during digestion? It
A. kills most bacteria in the food
B. arrest the activity of ptyalin
C. creates optimum pH for pepsin
D. activates trypsinogen to produce trypsin

Use the list of parts of the alimentary canal below to answer question 3 to 4

I. Mouth                         
II. Small intestine     
III. esophagus   
IV. Stomach     
V. Anus   
VI. Large intestine

3. Which of the following represents the correct order of path taken by a piece of meat from the moment it is chewed until the undigested is egested?
A. I, II, VI and III
B. I, III, IV, II, VI and V
C. I, IV, III, II, IV and V
D. I, III, II, IV, V and VI

4.  In which of the following structures does absorption of glucose and amino acids takes place?
A. II        
B. III      
C. IV        

5. A purple colour was obtained when sodium hydroxide solution and a drop of copper sulphate solution were added to a food substance. The substance is likely to contain
A. Fat                                
B. Carbohydrates      
C. Proteins    
D. Sugar

6.      The layers of mammalian intestinal wall are
I.       Muscular coat       
II.    Submucosa    
III. Serosa       
IV. Mucosa

A. I, II, III, IV         
B. II, III, VI           
C. IV, II, VI           

7.      The liver manufactures urea from
A. Roughage          
B. Starch           
C. Protein     
D. Fats

8. The pancreatic juice contains the enzymes amylopsin
A. pepsin and trpsinogen
B. rennin and steapsin
C. ptyalin and trypsinogen
D. steapsin and ptyalin

9. Which of the following animals has homodont dentition?
A. Rat                
B. Man           
C. Lizard   
D. Pigeon

10.  Which of the following food substance will produce a brick-red colour when warmed with Benedict's solution?
A. Glucose               
B. Starch         
C. Egg white         
D. Maltose

11.  The organ which secretes digestive enzymes as well as hormones is the
A. liver                     
B. salivary gland     
C. pancreas   
D. spleen

12.  The villus in the small intestine is significant because it
A. increase the surface area for absorption
B. increase the surface area for digestion
C. assists in mixing digested food
D. assists in filtering undigested food

13.  5 cm3 dilute sodium hydroxide solution and 5 cm3 one percent copper sulphate solution are added to a solution of food specimen. The purple colour which is observed shows the presence of
A. glucose               
B. starch             
C. fat       
D. protein

14.  One of the accessory organs of the digestive system is the
A. Kidney                 
B. Spleen            
C. liver      
D. lung

15.  The element common to protein carbohydrate and lipid is
A. hydrogen          
B. sulphur         
C. nitrogen    
D. phosphorus

16.  The crown of the mammalian tooth is covered with
A. cement            
B. dentine           
C. caries   
D. enamel

17.  Which of the following substances are required for the formation of bones and teeth?
A. carbon, iron and calcium
B. vitamin D, calcium and iron
C. vitamin D, calcium and carbon
D. vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus

18.  The blood vessel which carries blood from the alimentary canal to the liver is the
A. hepatic artery    
B. hepatic vein    
C. hepatic portal vein  
D. mesenteric artery

19.  Osmic acid boiled with a solution of food substance gave a black precipitate. This indicates the presence of
A. fats and oil            
B. proteins            
C. amino acids       
D. starch

20.  The end products of the digestion of fats and oils in mammals are
A. maltose and fatty acid
B. amino acids and glucose
C. fatty acid and fructose
D. fatty acids and glycerin

21.  What would happen to a man whose pancreas has been surgically removed?
A. The level of blood sugar would increase
B. The glycogen content of the liver would increase
C. His blood pressure would decrease
D. His weight would increase appreciably


Transparent eyelid

Nostril at the tip of the nose

The diagram below is an illustration of a crocodile. Use it to answer question 22 and 23


Homodont teeth

Scaly skin       



Eye at top of head





22.  Which of the labelled parts enable the animal to stay under water most the time?

A.    I, IV and V                C. I, III and IV

B.     I, II and V                 D. III, IV and V

23.  Two characteristics features of the class to which the crocodile belong are

  1. I and II                     C. II and IV
  2. III and IV                 D. II and V

24.  The part of the stomach nearer the gullet is called the
A. epiglottis            
B. cardiac sphincter      
C. duodenum
D. pyloric sphincter

Use the diagram below to answer question 25 and 26





25.  The part that is similar to the bone is labelled

A. IV        B. III        C. II       D. I


26.  The part labelled I and II constitute the

A. Crown                    

B. neck            

C. root           

D. gum

27.  A food substance was treated with a few drops of Sudan III solution and a red coloration was obtained. The food contained

A. protein                     C. fat

B. starch                      D. mineral salt


28.  In million's test, when the reagent is added to a protein food item, a white precipitate is produced which turns

A. blue on heating        C. green on heating

B. yellow on heating    D. red on heating


29.  After a meal of yam has been digested, the highest concentration of glucose is to be found in the

A. hepatic artery    

B. pulmonary vein

C. hepatic portal vein

D. posterior vena cava

30.  Which of the following functions is performed by the liver?

A. deamination of amino acids

B. Secretion of sebum

C. Storage of bile

D. Storage of glucose 



1. C

7. C

13. D

19. A

25. D

2. D

8. C

14. C

20. D 

26. A

3. B

9. C

15. A

21. A

27. C

4. A

10. A

16. D

22. B

28. D

5. C

11. C

17. D

23. B

29. C

6. C

12. A

18. C

24. B

30. A



1.      (SSCE 1994 Q4) (a)(i) What are enzymes?

(i)           List the factors that can affect enzymes action

(ii)        What is the source and role of each of the following enzymes?

(α) Salivary amylase 

(β) Pepsin 

(γ) Trypsin

(b) What is the role of the pancreas in carbohydrates digestion in mammals?


(i) Refer to notes

(ii) Factors affecting enzymes action

Enzyme concentration; temperature; nature of the substrate; pH; Coenzymes, Concentration of substrate


Name of enzyme




Gastric glands

Break down of proteases and peptones



Breaks down proteins, and peptones into polypeptides

Salivary amylase

Salivary glands

converts cooked starch into maltose


(b) Pancreas produces pancreatic juice containing pancreatic amylase, which breaks down starch into maltose.

2.       (SSCE 1995 Q1) (a) What is a protein

(b) Why are proteins required by animals? 


(a) Proteins are complex organic compouds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Some proteins may also contain sulphur and phosphorus.

(b) Importance of proteins

Refer to notes

3.      (SSCE 1996 Q2) (a) What are enzymes

(b) Describe five general characteristics of enzymes.

(c) Discuss what happens to a meal of rice and beans as it passes through the mouth to the small intestine of man.


(a) & (b) - Refer to notes

(c) Beans are proteins and rice is a carbohydrate. In the mouth the rice and beans are both chewed. The rice is being acted on by salivary amylase and change to maltose. In the stomach, pepsin in the gastric juice converts the beans into peptides. In the duodenum, pancreatic amylase converts the remaining rice to maltose. In the small intestine maltase converts maltose into glucose. Trypsin converts the beans to polypeptides. In the small intestine maltase converts maltose into glucose. Erepsin converts peptides into amino-acids. The glucose and the amino acids are absorbed into the blood stream.

4.      (SSCE, 2000 Q7) (a) Give an account of the adaptation of mammals to a carnivorous mode of life.  


1. Good night vision for hunting at night

2. Have claws for holding preys

3. Well-developed incisors for cutting or nipping pieces of meat

4. Dagger-like canines for piecing prey and tearing meat

5. Cusped premolar and molars for cracking bones

6. Upper jaw wider than lower jaw to facilitates shearing action

7. Powerful jaw muscles and up and down jaw action to avoid dislocation

8. Fasting moving with a well developing sense of smell which help in prey detection and its apprehension.

5.       (SSCE, 2002 Q1) (a) Give a summary of the functions of the different parts of the human digestive system (names of enzymes and end products of digestion not required

(b) What are the adaptations observed in the alimentary canal of a carnivore and that of a herbivore?


Mouth (oral cavity): is a specialized organ for receiving food, breaking up large organic compounds secreting enzyme and digestion of starch. 

Pharynx: swallowed food into esophagus

Oesophagus: forms bolus

Stomach: stores and break down food. It is on the left upper part of the abdominal cavity. It secretes protein digesting enzymes and strong acids to aid in food digestion.

Small Intestine: complete digestion and absorbs end products

Large Intestine: absorbs water, sodium and other ions but it excretes other metallic ions into the wastes.

(b) Adaptation of herbivore and carnivore in mode of nutrition

Refer to notes for detail

6.      (WASSCE 2007 Q2) (a) Name four organelles in the living cell that produce enzymes and the enzymes produced in each case.

(b) State; (i) two local sources of proteins

(ii) two importance of proteins to human

(c) Briefly describe the digestion of a fish from the mouth to the point where it is absorbed into the body.  








DNA polymerase


Oxidase reductase


ATP synthetase or carboxylase


(i) Local source of protein: Soya beans, groundnuts, milk, meat, fish, crayfish etc.


(ii) Refer to notes

Digestion of boiled fish: fish is proteins. In the mouth the fish is chewed into smaller particles, rolled into a bollus. The food is swallowed into the stomach through the oesophagus. Digestion of protein begins from the stomach. In the stomach, is produced which contains HCl and pepsin. HCl provide correct medium for effective action of pepsin. Pepsin converts fish into peptides. The stomach churns the food in watering chime which passes into the duodenum. The pancreas secretes pancreatic juice containing trypsin which converts the proteins into polypeptides. In the ileum intestine erepsin converts peptides into amino-acids. Amino acid is absorbed by diffusion through the villi in the ileum into the blood stream.

7.      (WASSCE 2008 Q2) (a) What is balanced diet?

(b) (i) Name four classes of food.

(ii) Name one source each of the classes of food named in (i)

(c)(i) State three function of protein in human

(ii) Describe the appearance of a child whose diet is deficient in protein

(d) (i) Name one organelle in a living cell, that produce enzymes

(ii) Mention two enzymes that act on protein.




(a) Balanced diet: A diet that provides all the six classes of food in the correct proportion.

(b) Classes of food: Carbohydrate, Proteins, Fats/oils, Vitamins, minerals salts and Water

c) (i) Refer to notes


(ii) Appearance protein deficient child

1. Loss of weight     

2. Thin limbs      

3. Stunted growth        

4. Kwashiorkor

5. Skin cracks              

6. Swollen leg

7. Change in hair colour 


(d) (i) lysosome, nucleus, mitochondrion, chloroplast

(ii) Pepsin, renin, erepsin, trypsin

8.      (WASSCE 2009) Describe the biuret test for protein in a given food substance

(c)(i). Name the disease that results from deficiency in vitamin C

(ii). List three symptoms of the disease named in (c) (i) above



Biuret test: An aqueous sample of a given food in a test tube, is treated with an equal volume of 1% strong base (sodium or potassium hydroxide) followed by a few drops of aqueous copper (II) sulphate. If the solution turns purple, protein is present.

(c)(i) Disease: Scurvy

(ii) Symptoms

1. Weakness of the body

2. Loosening of teeth

3. Poor healing of wounds

4. Bleeding of gums/sore mouth 

5. Anaemia

6. Reduced resistance to disease

7. Swellings of joints/gums 

9.      (WASSCE 2012) (a) Name one dental disease.

(ii) State the causes of dental diseases

(b)(i) Describe digestion of a meal meat and yam as it passes through the alimentary canal of human.

(ii) State two uses of each of the digested products of the meal mentioned in (i) above.



(a)(i) Dental disease

Periodontal disease or Tooth decay


(ii) Refer to notes


(b) Digestion of a meal of meat and yam 

In the mouth: Meat is protein and yam is a carbohydrate. In the mouth the meat and yam are both chewed into smaller particles. The yam is being acted on by salivary amylase and change to maltose.

In the stomach: the stomach wall secretes gastric juice which contains pepsin, renin and hydrochloric acid. The pepsin in the gastric juice converts the meat into polypeptides.

In the duodenum: Pancreas produce pancreatic juice which contain amylase, trypsin and lipase. Amylase converts the remaining starch in the yam into maltose. Trypsin converts the proteins in the meat into polypeptides. In the ileum, intestinal juice called sucus entericus is secreted containing maltose, lactose, sucrose, erepsin. Maltase converts maltose into glucose. Erepsin converts peptides into amino-acids. The glucose and the amino acids are absorbed into the blood stream.

(ii) Uses of digested products


1. Utilized in body cells to release energy

2. Converted to glycogen in the liver muscle for storage

For synthesis of complex compound

Amino Acid:

1. Synthesis of protein

Enzymes and hormones formation

2. Growth and repair of damage tissues

10.  (WASSCE 2014) (a) Define the following terms

(i) Elimination           

(ii) Secretion

(b) Describe the digestion of boiled fish in the gut humans

(c) Make a diagram, 8-10cm long of a longitudinal section of a villus and label fully.



(a) (i) Elimination: is the removal of unwanted substance from the body of living organisms.

(ii) Excretion: is the removal of metabolic waste products from the cells of an organism, that may be poisonous if accumulate in the body.

(iii) Secretion: is the release of substance useful to the body by specialized glands of living organisms.

(b) Digestion of boiled fish in the gut humans

Boiled fish is proteins. In the mouth the fish is chewed and swallowed into the stomach. Digestion of protein begins from the stomach. In the stomach, pepsin in the gastric juice converts fish into peptides. In the duodenum, trypsin converts the fish to polypeptides. In the small intestine erepsin converts peptides into amino-acids.


mucus secreting cell (goblet cell)                                 

Diagram of the longitudinal section villus



blood capillaries

outer layer of cell (epithelium)

lymphatic vessel


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