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Investigating Osmosis in Potatoes

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Introduction

Investigating Osmosis in Potatoes The Mccoin Company make oven chips. They need to keep them for more time before freezing and packaging them. They need to make sure that the size and firmness of the chips stay the same. The chips are going to be kept in solution X that is similar to sucrose that doesn't make chips sweet. We have to design an experiment that scientists in the laboratories at Mccoin could carry out in order to decide on a suitable concentration of substance X to keep their chip in. I am going to investigate how the different concentrations of the solution X affect the Mccoin Company's chips, in both length and mass. Planning Experimental Procedures To do this experiment it will be necessary to take some safety precautions. We will wear goggles to protect our eyes from the solution X, even though we know that it is similar to sucrose we do not know exactly what it is, and it may harm our eyes. We shall also wear lab coats for the same reason, so that we don't get any solution on our clothes. To ensure that we will get accurate results we will have to make a fair test. To achieve this I will make sure that I measure and cut each chip to a specific length, and use an equal amount of every concentration of solution X. ...read more.

Middle

We cut two pieces of tissue from a leek. We placed one into a beaker of distilled water, and the other into a beaker containing a concentrated sugar solution. We left them for about half an hour, then when we removed them. We found that the leek that had been put into the beaker of distilled water had grown in size and was hard and stiff, this was because the water concentration in the beaker was much higher than the concentration of water in the leek, meaning that water had moved into the leek by osmosis, from an area of high concentration, to an area of low concentration. The leek that had been left in the concentrated sugar solution became soft and floppy, and shrank in size. The water concentration in the potato was greater than the concentration of water in the beaker, meaning that water moved out of the potato by osmosis. "Osmosis is the movement of water across a selectively permeable membrane: * From a lower concentrated solution to a higher concentrated solution * From where water molecules are at a higher concentration to where they are at a lower concentration * From an area of higher water potential to lower water potential."-Letts A-level Biology "Osmosis is a special example of diffusion where only water moves into or out of cells. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that our results were accurate enough for this experiment, because it gave us a basic but clear understanding of how the different concentrations affect the chips. However if it were to be carried out on a larger scale the procedure would have to be carried out more accurately. If I were to do the experiment again, I think I would use a larger range of concentrations, so as to be able to obtain more results, giving a more accurate graph. I would also ensure that it was carried out more accurately. The method used for this experiment was suitable not for finding out the concentration of solution X at which the chips will not change in size, but for starting the investigation into it. We managed to obtain results that showed us which concentrations would be suitable for keeping the mass or the length of the chip the same. However, if an average were taken of these two concentrations, it would not necessarily mean that concentration would work. Further tests would need to be carried out. If any other experiments could be carried out to extend this work, I would suggest that an experiment was done testing the firmness of the chip when put in the different concentrations of solution X. In addition, an experiment similar to the one we have carried out, but more detailed. Percentage Difference Concentration Percentage Difference Concentration Delphine Solomon 10H.3 ...read more.

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