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Investigate into the effect of varying concentrations of a sucrose solution on the mass of potato tissue contained in a potato chip.

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Introduction

Investigate into the effect of varying concentrations of a sucrose solution on the mass of potato tissue contained in a potato chip. First of all there are some safety issues I must take into consideration. As I will be using a very sharp scalpel and a potentially dangerous core borer it is imperative that I take great care in handling and using these objects. As a precaution I will use a ceramic tile to cut the potato on. Equipment List: Potato, Scalpel, Core borer, Ceramic Tile, 5 Plastic pots, Set of scales, Ruler, 0.0M 0.2M 0.4M 0.6M 0.8M sucrose solution. Variables: In this experiment there should only be two changing variables: 1: Different molarities of sugar solution. 2: Changing weight of the potato samples. To keep these two variables the only variables in the experiment I must: 1: Keep the potato samples the same length (25mm). ...read more.

Middle

6: Average: To make the experiment as accurate as possible an average will be taken out of 3 results taken. 7:Temperature: The temperature may affect the reliability of the experiment for example at extreme temperatures the cells of the potato may die and at less extreme temperatures the experiment may be speeded up. To keep this from happening all the pots will be kept in the same place Hypothesis: My hypothesis is that as the concentration of the solution increases, the mass of the potato chips will decrease. This hypothesis is based on my prior knowledge of a process called Osmosis. Osmosis is the flow of water from a more dilute solution to a more concentrated solution through a selectively permeable membrane, in this case the potato cell membrane. Water is allowed to pass through the membrane in both directions and continues until the two concentrations are in a state of equilibrium, or equal. ...read more.

Conclusion

The probable cause of this slight change in consistency was that the measuring cylinder used to measure the solution at the start was not washed out thoroughly and so contaminated the following solution. I can use the above graph also to calculate the point of equilibrium of the solution and the potato tissue. As identified on the graph this point is 0.24M. This means that the concentration of both the solution and the potato tissue are equal. Evaluation: Overall I was satisfied with the way the experiment was carried out although there are a few things that, if I were to repeat this investigation, I would most likely do differently. Firstly I would ensure that the measuring cylinder was washed thoroughly each time to avoid contamination, which slightly affected my current results. Secondly I would leave the potato chips in the solution for a longer period of time which would produce much more accurate results. Chris Simmons - 11MA Biology - Set 1 - Coursework ...read more.

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