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Why does the colour leak out of cooked beetroot

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Why does the colour leak out of cooked beetroot? Purpose of the Experiment * To investigate the effect of temperature on membrane structure. Hypothesis I predict that as the temperature of the water in which the beet root is placed in is increased, the amount of pigment leaked will increase i.e. the solution will become darker in colour. My prediction is based on the concept that cell membranes will breakdown if the temperature rises. Membranes are made of a bilayer of phospholipids and protein molecules. The key aspect to notice here is that the cell membrane is made of proteins, which are made up of chains of amino acids. The linking of amino acids is strong in a protein, however the three dimensional shape of the protein is determined via hydrogen bonds which are relatively weak and can be broken by heat and chemicals. Once the hydrogen bonds are broken the protein can no longer function correctly, as is the case in the cell membrane. ...read more.


7 Using a pipette accurately, measure 2 cm3 distilled water into a cuvette. Place the cuvette into the colorimeter, making sure that the light is shining through the smooth sides. 8 Adjust the colorimeter to read 0 absorbance for clear water. Do not alter the setting again during the experiment. 9 Place 2 cm3 of the dye solution into a colorimeter cuvette and take a reading for absorbency. Repeat the readings for all the temperatures. Results Temp ?C 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Absorbance (Series 1) 0 0.0 0.0 0.08 0.34 0.48 0.61 0.88 Absorbance (Series 2) 0 0.0 0.0 0.05 0.31 0.43 0.63 0.81 Conclusion By analysing the results I obtained it is possible to conclude that as the temperature increases the absorbance rating increases. This correlation shows that the temperature has an affect on the amount of betalain leaked from the pieces of beet root. My Conclusion concurs with my prediction, that as the temperature of the water in which the beet root is placed in is increased, the amount of pigment leaked will increase i.e. ...read more.


The cleanliness of the cuvettes, whilst handling, may have also affected the absorbance level. As greasy hand marks may have absorbed more light then intended. This error may have occurred with all the cuvettes, again making the results reliable but not accurate. Do insure accuracy better quality incubators may have been used for heating the water and keeping the independent variable, temperature, constant (for each set of temperature). If the temperature fluctuated then this could have a direct impact on the results, as more or less cytoplasm may have leaked out (depending on temperature). Another possible factor that may have affected the absorbance rating may have included the washing of the beetroot and the size of the pieces. If the beetroot has not been cleaned properly some betalain may be present from when cutting the pieces. If the sizes of the beetroot are different this could imply that more are less betalain is leaked. A larger piece would mean that there is more chance of more cytoplasm being leaked and vice versa with a smaller piece. By considering the biology behind this experiment I think that the set of results are reliable and accurate. ?? ?? ?? ?? Abdul Samad Farhat Biology AS ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

In a number of ways, this report of an investigation into the effect of temperature on membrane permeability is a little disappointing. It lacks the level of detail which A' Level Biology demands. The theory of membrane structure together with beetroot pigments and their location was dealt with rather briefly with a number of important omissions regarding the effect of heat on membrane structure.

The writer also omits a full discussion of controlled variables, vital in an experiment such as this where the presence of pigment in the surrounding water can take place for a number of reasons. The data collected was excellent indicating that the experiment was carried out with skill, but unfortunately the results were not subjected to a thorough analysis, and compared to other results from similar experiments.

Overall, 3 stars - just!

Marked by teacher Ross Robertson 24/04/2013

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