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An Investigation On The Effects Of Calcium Ions On The Coagulation Of Milk

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Introduction

An Investigation On The Effects Of Calcium Ions On The Coagulation Of Milk Introduction In this investigation, we are to observe the effect of calcium ions on the coagulation of milk. Here we can bring about the effect of coagulation by introducing the enzyme rennin into the milk where as the addition of calcium chloride solution will increase the concentration of calcium ions in our sample of milk. Initially I believe that in the presence of more calcium ions, the results would be a higher rate of coagulation. We can observe this by dipping a microscope slide in a sample of milk with the rennin and to observe the "flecks of curd" on the slide. Theory and Background Rennin is an enzyme which is synthesized in the stomach, its role is to curdle milk; this is especially important in organisms as coagulation enables the digestion of the milk protein; in this case casein. Otherwise the milk would just pass through the digestive system as a liquid, hence unable to be absorbed.

Middle

* During the production of each milk mixture, I will ensure that the volume will be exactly the same; in this case 9 cm3 in any given solution. Distilled water is to be added in order to make a mixture to the given amount, note that water is not reactive hence it will not cause any deviations or sudden change in the reaction. Altogether there will be 6 different sample of milk to test, each will have a different concentration of calcium ions. As a control, there will be a sample of milk in which all the calcium ions are removed via the addition of sodium citrate, this will prove that calcium ions are required for the coagulation process. The following composition in the test samples are shown in a diagram below. Test tubes were to be cleaned out first in order to prevent contamination, also for each solution that was added, a different graduated pipette was used; this was to prevent any effects of cross- contamination.

Conclusion

Firstly we can create a larger range of concentrations which we could test; this would give us a larger range of data which we could work with. Also in order to keep a constant environment we can employ the use of a water bath, perhaps set to 25oC - room temperature and also use a buffer to keep pH constant at neutral. Due to the unsuitable nature of the microscope slide, watch glasses should be used instead as the concaved shape enables the solution to stay in the container unlike the slides. For reliability it is necessary to obtain repeats, perhaps up to 3 sets of data, this will reinforce the fact that the results are accurate and that there were no anomalous results in the data which I obtained. However it is difficult to calculate the amount of calcium ions due to the fact that some are present in the milk beforehand, one variation may be to remove it beforehand and from there add excess artificial ions via the solution. Further investigates can be attempted in the form of the reaction's environment such as temperature and pH conditions.

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