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The Chip Problem

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Introduction

The Chip Problem Aim My aim is to find a way of preventing chips that are left to soak over night (24 hours) by the chip shop owner from changing in any way. This is because the chip shop owner is concerned that any change in the chips might affect their taste or texture when cooked. He currently covers the chips in water that may or may not have salt added. I aim to discover what is the best solution for him to use: - distilled water, or a salt solution, and if it is the salt solution, then what is the best concentration for preventing the chips from changing. Hypothesis My hypothesis is that the chips will stay the same in a low concentration salt solution. This is because a potato is a food storage for the plant and so will contain various substances including starch and sugars. This means that the concentration inside the potato will be higher than water so if the potatoes are placed in distilled water, the water will move into the potato through the process of osmosis. This will make the potato watery which will affect the texture, shape and taste of the chip. If the solution it is placed in is a higher concentration than the potato then the water in the potato will move out to try to create an equilibrium between the liquids inside and outside the potato. If this happens then the cells in the potato will become flaccid which will make them limp thus affecting the texture, shape and possibly taste of the chip. Because the concentration of the fluid inside the potato will be higher than water, I think they will be best if kept in a solution that is slightly salty. ...read more.

Middle

When looking at chip B for length, the changes occur but they look much more reasonable because they are not so extreme. I don't think that any of the other readings are anomalies. When I looked at the graph for mass (graph 5), the pattern is similar. The heaviest chips A & B are in the distilled water. The next heaviest were in the 0.25 solution where they are just below the start weight. I decided to find out which one was closest to the start weight. I thought it would make more sense if I worked out the percent change, and I thought that if I looked at the average change it would remove the differences between the chips like Graph 2, 0.75M solution A and B are far apart and also for 1.0M these are far apart so they could be anomalies. Distilled water - chip A = 1.9 x 100 = 105.5% 1.8 chip B = 2.2 x 100 = 122% 1.8 The average gain has been 105.5% + 122% = 113.75% 2 The chips at 0.25 M solution are under weight. I decided to see whether they were much more underweight than the distilled water ones were overweight: 0.25M chip A = 1.6 x 100 = 80% 2.0 0.25M chip B = 1.5 x 100 = 79% (rounded) 1.9 The average loss has been 80% + 79% = 79.5 2 I compared these two readings to see which chips were furthest away from the start: This will tell the chip shop owner which chips are closest to what he started with before he put them to soak. ...read more.

Conclusion

I could also have used a larger number of chips so that I could take averages. In some reading such as graph 2a you can see that the A & B readings are quite different for 0M and 0,75 M so if I had more chips - say 10, I could take an average and this would more likely be more accurate. I think that the evidence is reliable and strong enough to come to a strong conclusion. Because I have 2 readings for each by using 2 chips, this gives good results which I can rely on. If one reading seems very different from the trend then I can see that that is an anomaly. I did not get many results that I thought were anomalies, but if I had then it would have been helpful and more reliable to have the two results for each reading. This made my results more accurate. I could do the experiment over a longer time and test for more things. The chip shop man may find it better to keep the chips more than 24 hours. I could carry on the experiment to see if this would be possible without the chips losing texture any more. I did not test for taste because we did not have cooking facilities but I could get my teacher to make an arrangement with the chip shop to test the different chips so we could do a taste test to see which are the best. A taste test is important for the chip shop because the way I recommend he keeps his chips is in water but if the customers think the chips have gone watery they will not buy them. I know they will absorb some water but I don't know whether this will affect the taste. ...read more.

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