Image provided by Elizabeth Reznikov and Sarah Comstock, Sharon Donovan Lab
Research funded by Pfizer Nutrition
The inner lining of the small intestine is not smooth; it is wrinkled and folded, so that its internal surface area is much greater than it first appears. These wrinkles, called villi, can be seen here in a cross-section of a young pig intestine. The extra surface area allows the intestine to quickly absorb nutrients from food. Food scientists examine the development of the digestive system in animal models to help design better nutritional supplements for both animals and people.