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To determine the amount of energy in different foods and to find out how much this depends on the fat content of the food.

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Burning Foods Investigation Aim: To determine the amount of energy in different foods and to find out how much this depends on the fat content of the food. Introduction Most foods contain fats, carbohydrates and proteins, usually in a mixture. These are all organic molecules, which contain energy. This investigation looks at the amount of energy in six different foods. Energy values are measured by burning the foods underneath a boiling tube containing a fixed volume of water. The temperature rise in the water can be used to calculate the energy values in the water. Energy released from food (J) =mass of water (G) x temperature rise (�C) x 4.2 If you divide this value by the mass of the food, you get a fair comparison. Equipment > Test tubes > Mounting needle > Retort stand with clamp > Bunsen burner > Thermometer > Water Method > Gather equipment, test tubes, Bunsen burner, foods and retort stand. > Pour exactly 15cm� of room temperature water into the test tube. > Clamp the test tube using the retort stand and place thermometer inside. > Record the temperature of water. > Find the mass of the food and record. > Place the food onto a mounted needle. ...read more.


> Fats that we eat enter the digestive system and meet with the enzyme, lipase. Lipase breaks the fat into its parts: glycerol and fatty acids. These are then reassembled into triglycerides for transport in the bloodstream. Muscle cells and fat (adipose) cells absorb the triglycerides either to store them or to burn them as fuel. > One gram of fat contains 9 calories of energy. When burnt, the calories would be released due to the flames. > We acquire energy to preserve metabolism and during any physical activities in our everyday lives. > Carbohydrates contribute to 44% of our total energy whilst fats contribute to about 41%. > Fats - Also known as lipids, fats produce twice the amount of energy that carbohydrates are capable of producing, and this is due to the more complex nature of their structure. Their are five different types of lipid, either, triglycerides, phospholipids, glycolipids, steroids and waxes > Fats help stabilize blood sugar > Fats cushion vital organs and help to maintain body temperature. > Fats delay hunger pains due to a mixture, which contains fat that remains longer in your stomach. > Saturated fats can raise level of cholesterol in blood. > Fats tend to burn slowly. ...read more.


Firstly, I could have carried out the experiment in a separate room to other students as the room temperature kept rising due to the constant heat from Bunsen burners. I could have used a clamp to hold the mounted needle, instead of my hands that were not always steady, to be sure that the food was the same distance from the test tube. To ensure the experiment was a fair test, some of the different foods could have been dried out to make sure all the water content had been removed; therefore, more flames would have been produced from energy within. I do not think I could have done anything to affect the water temperature as it was taken straight from the tap. I could have used the same syringe to pour the water to make the measurements the same as the syringes used may have had a slight difference in measurement. A better result could have been achieved by performing the experiment in a different room as many students were performing the experiment at the same time. Using a digital thermometer instead of a standard thermometer would have enabled me with a more accurate reading, therefore providing me with a more accurate energy content. The amount of water could have been increased to obtain better results. Instead of only using 15cm� of water this could have been increased to 30cm�of water. Biology Coursework Jaspreet Athwal 10P/10D2 1 ...read more.

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