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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Food Chemistry

This book contains 14 experiments that extend your program in chemistry to an area of high interest to students: food. Many students may not even consider foods to contain chemicals. After all, aren’t chemicals “bad for you”? Since all foods contain chemicals and chemicals have different effects on the human body, understanding some basic chemistry as it applies to food is an important goal of this book. Students can learn about phases of matter, gases, mixtures, chemical reactions, acid/base chemistry, concentration, and spectroscopy.

Some of the questions we hope to answer are
“What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?”
“How can you distinguish between the sweeteners used in some foods?”
“How can you tell exactly which food dyes are used in soft drinks?”

Hopefully your students will ask even more questions and you’ll be able to design activities to answer them. This book is not an attempt to create a complete food chemistry curriculum. Rather, we take advantage of the chemical properties of everyday food items to teach some chemistry content in a different context using Vernier sensors that you can borrow form the LCCC SIM Program.

The experiments in this book are written for use with Graphical Analysis and Spectral Analysis applications. These applications are free and available on most platforms that schools are using including Chromebooks, computers, and mobile devices such as phones and tablets.  Go Direct sensors require no interface and can be used with Chromebooks, computers, and mobile devices.

Directions: Click on the”Experiment Title” link to the lab that you wish to preview. The webpage provides a description of the experiment with correlations to state and national science standards. After you submit a SIM request to borrow equipment or obtain the services of the Mobile Educator, then you will be emailed both the student and teacher versions of the experiment in Word format. You may edit the lab to meet your specific needs and make copies for use with your classes.

Table of Contents

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Experiment Suggested Products
01 Food is Fuel Go Direct® Temperature Probe, Vernier Graphical Analysis™
02 Cooking Under Pressure Go Direct® Temperature Probe, Go Direct® Gas Pressure Sensor, Electrode Support, Vernier Graphical Analysis™
03 What’s the Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder? Go Direct® pH Sensor, Grommets for CO2 Gas Sensor, Vernier Graphical Analysis™
04 My Flat Soda Pop Go Direct® Temperature Probe, Go Direct® CO2 Gas Sensor, Stir Station, Vernier Graphical Analysis™
05 I’m Drinking Acid?! Go Direct® pH Sensor, Stir Station, Electrode Support, Vernier Graphical Analysis™
06 Electrolytes in Energy Drinks Go Direct® Conductivity Probe, Vernier Graphical Analysis™
07 Fermenting Carbohydrates Go Direct® Ethanol Vapor, Go Direct® CO2 Gas Sensor, Stir Station, Vernier Graphical Analysis™
08 True Colors: Separating Food Dyes Go Direct® SpectroVis® Plus Spectrophotometer
09 Quantifying Iron in Cereal Go Direct® SpectroVis® Plus Spectrophotometer, Go Direct® Temperature Probe, Vernier Graphical Analysis™, Vernier Spectral Analysis®
10 Do Vegetables Have Carotenoids? Go Direct® SpectroVis® Plus Spectrophotometer
11 Why Does Your Energy Drink Glow? Go Direct® SpectroVis® Plus Spectrophotometer
12 Vitamin C in Orange Juice Go Direct® ORP Sensor, Stir Station, Electrode Support, Vernier Graphical Analysis™
13 Using Polarimetry to Identify Sugar and Sweeteners in Beverages Go Direct® Polarimeter
14 Confectionary Chemistry: Measuring Sugar Inversion Go Direct® Polarimeter, Chemical Polarimeter Accessory Cells