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Investigating the effects of sugar solutions on potato chips.

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Investigating the effects of sugar solutions on potato chips Hypothesis In this experiment we will be looking at how sucrose affects a potato chip. I think that the higher concentration of sugar in the solution will mean it will lose more weight. The reason why I think this will happen is because of osmosis. Osmosis is the movement of water molecules across a partially permeable membrane from a region of higher water concentration to a region of low water concentration. Basically it is the diffusion of water. This means that the more sugar in the solution the less water the potato chip will absorb causing it to not gain as much weight as it would with the pure water. Osmosis needs a permeable membrane if it is to take place. The permeable membrane in this case is the cell membrane of the potato chips. The tendency for water to move through a partially permeable membrane is described as its water potential and is at a maximum in pure water. This water potential can be lowered on how much sugar is added to the water. This means that more concentrated solutions will have lower water potentials than ones with less concentration. When there is a strong sugar solution water will start to leave the potato cell by osmosis and it will become flaccid and may begin to break down causing the potato chip to lose weight. ...read more.


In a previous experiment two cubes of potato were cut roughly the same size. Cube A was placed in a beaker of distilled water. Cube B was placed in a beaker with concentrated sugar solution. They were left for one hour. Cube A - the water concentration in this beaker was higher than the concentration of water in the potato cube so water moved into the potato cube by osmosis. The potato cube became harder and seemed heavier Cube B - the water concentration in the potato cube was greater then the concentration of the water in the beaker. Water moved out of the potato by osmosis. The potato cube became soft and appeared lighter. From this experiment one can see how osmosis works and the same rules should apply for the following experiment if the prediction is correct. Method First of all I took the potato and using the knife (which was only sharp enough to cut through the potato for safety) I sliced it into 15 pieces, then placing them individually on the tissue paper on the measuring scales and cutting them down until they each weigh 2 grams. After this I got the test tube rack and the test tubes and marked on them 0%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% and then filled them with the according solutions. ...read more.


When there is a weaker solution the water will enter the potato cell by osmosis and cause the cell to become only just turgid giving the overall potato chip more weight. When there is an even weaker solution the water will enter easily until no more can enter and the cell becomes fully turgid giving it maximum support and probably the most weight it will be able to gain Evaluation The experiment suited the investigation well and it showed a good set of results. The results are reasonably reliable because the test was fair and there was a familiar trend shown in the results. There did not seem to be any anomalies but due to the fact that the potato chips were stacked upon one another in the test tubes it may have caused the results to be altered. I think to improve this, one potato chip should be placed in the test tube and the experiment repeated three times instead of all three at once. Further studies could be carried out with the same experiment, it could be tried under different situations such as heat or different solutions to a see if this affects the results or shows up with a new pattern to see how accurate the results were. Peter Larkin 4B 27th April 27, 2003 ...read more.

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