The release of chemical energy from food materials essentially occurs in three phases. In the first phase (phase I), the large molecules that make up the bulk of food materials are broken down into small constituent units: proteins are converted to the 20 or so different amino acids of which they are composed; carbohydrates (polysaccharides such as starch in plants and glycogen in animals) are degraded to sugars such as glucose; and fats (lipids) are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol. The amounts of energy liberated in phase I are relatively small: only about 0.6 percent of the free, or useful, energy of proteins and carbohydrates, and about 0.1 percent of that of fats, is released during this phase. Because this energy is liberated largely as heat, it cannot be used by the cell. The purpose of the reactions of phase I, which can be grouped under the term digestion and which, in animals, occur mainly in the intestinal tract and in tissues in which reserve materials are prepared, or mobilized, for energy production, is to prepare the foodstuffs for the energy-releasing processes.