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To investigate the effect of varying concentration of a certain sugar solution on the amount of osmotic activity between the solution and a potato chip of a given size.

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Introduction

Title: Investigating osmosis in potatoes Aim: To investigate the effect of varying concentration of a certain sugar solution on the amount of osmotic activity between the solution and a potato chip of a given size. Back Ground Information: Osmosis, transfer of a liquid solvent through a semi permeable membrane that does not allow dissolved solids (solutes) to pass. Osmosis refers only to transfer of solvent; transfer of solute is called dialysis. In either case the direction of transfer is from the area of higher concentration of the material transferred to the area of lower concentration. This spontaneous migration of a material from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration is called diffusion. Plasmolysis is the separation of plant cell cytoplasm from the cell wall as a result of water loss. As moisture leaves the vacuole the total volume of the cytoplasm decreases while the cell itself, being rigid, hardly changes. Plasmolysis is unlikely to occur in the wild except in severe conditions. Plasmolysis is induced in the laboratory by immersing a plant cell in a strongly saline or sugary solution, so that water is lost or gained by osmosis. Further information on potato plant cells: Plant cells always have a strong cell wall surrounding them. When they take up water by osmosis they start to swell, but the cell wall prevents them from bursting. ...read more.

Middle

I am also going to use the same balance to weigh my potato chips. This is because the measurements may slightly vary between scales. Diagram: Safety: Goggles will be worn at all times Caution will be taken when cutting potato Method: A range of sucrose sugar solutions will be prepared This will be done by adding varying amounts of distilled water to varying amounts of sucrose solution. Sections of potato will be cut using a borer. This part of the preparation must be done very accurately as a change in the surface area may allow more or less osmosis to occur. The weight of each chip will be measured the experiment will be repeated with different concentrates of solution. The potato pieces will then be placed in the different test tubes and then left over night. Then the potato pieces will be removed, the surface solution removed using paper towels and then they will be re-weighed and measurements will be taken again. I will repeat this experiment again as to obtain a second set of results and to obtain averages. This will hopefully produce more accurate results from which I will be able to draw a more accurate conclusion and graphs. Fair test: I have to keep all of the different non-variables the same, to make sure that none of them are affect the results of the experiment in any way. ...read more.

Conclusion

I obtained a large quantity of very accurate results from which I was able to create informative graphs. However if I was to repeat the experiment I might increase the time of the result to allow more osmosis to happen and possibly find out the saturation point of the chips. The range of concentrations was adequate but I would use more concentrations if I repeated the experiment so that I would have more varied results. I could also weigh each chip on a more accurate scale, e.g. not to 0.00g but to 0.0000g. The concentrations 3% and 5% we experimented gave inaccurate results. They were above the line of best fit. This may have been caused by a human error. When the potato chips were removed from the test tubes and dried I may well have dried some potatoes more thoroughly than others and so some would have more excess water, which would add to the mass. If the experiment was repeated I could find another way to dry the potatoes that would ensure that all were dried in the same way for the same time. I would also measure the flaccidity of the potato chip. This would allow me to examine if there was any connection between osmosis and the flaccidity of the potato chips. However with all this said I think that the experiment was truly successful and I was very pleased with my results. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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