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Designing an Osmotic Potential Experiment with Potatoes

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Introduction

Designing an Experiment on Osmotic Potential Context Osmosis is used throughout the kitchen in various countries. In France, aubergines and cucumbers are often soaked in salt to create a nicer texture, however chefs lack understanding of why this happens, as they would have forgotten about it after they finished school, they only know that it happens. Therefore, this experiment is designed to explain to the millions of chefs around the world why the water is ?sucked? out of a vegetable when it is dipped into a salt or sugar solutions. I believe that having knowledge over the reason for something can open up new ways of thinking; this is why I think it is so important to explain the reason behind this phenomenon. Famous chefs are also known to be under time pressure; for example, every cooking show on TV includes some sort of time pressure scenario, weather it is a ticking clock or waiting customers. For this reason, I would like to help these chefs save time by designing an experiment to determine the different lengths of time it takes a vegetable to be completely rigid or flaccid, this would help the chefs create the best texture in the shortest amount of time. Therefore, I am setting up an experiment to test the minimum time required for a sucrose solution to create a desired result of either a flaccid vegetable or a rigid vegetable. ...read more.

Middle

I will convert the mass into percentage change as this will give me a better reading as my slices of vegetable might not be the same mass. However, I will try to cut my slices the same size so this is only added as an insurance. I will measure the mass of each individual vegetable slice. Then I will find the mean and mode of the slices. This will help me determine what mass would be the closest representative of the actual mass. Another dependant variable will be time, time on the y-axis and my different solutions on the x-axis will become a very nice graph as it will display how long time each potato will take to reach a turgid or flaccid state. Control variable During this experiment there are many control variables that I need to take into consideration in order for my method to be valid. Therefore the control variables need to be carefully considered and revised. * The mass of my vegetable slices in the beginning of the experiment must be the same. I will make sure that I weight the vegetable slices prior to conducting the experiment. * The molarity of the solutions must be measured accurately. To ensure this, I will look on the periodic table and online for the molar mass then I will use a scale that measures to the closest 0.1 grams to determine that my mass is correct. ...read more.

Conclusion

After this is complete, I will take the slices gently out of the solution to measure them. The slices of vegetable will be dried by tapping each of the sides once on a paper towel. After taking the mass I will quickly insert the slices of vegetable back into the solution, the slices will be taken out of the solutions at one-minute intervals, this will make sure that the slices stay in the water for the same amount of time before being measured. I will collect data for as long as I can, however I am expecting the preparation work to take no longer than 45 minutes, therefore I should get at least seven sets of data. Sufficient and relevant data will be collected with a scale. After knowing that the scales I will be provided with only measure to the closet gram I have decided to bring my own scale, the scale measures to the closest 0.1 grams, this will be enough for my use. I will make sure that the measurements are taken up to the highest standard as my results will be less valid if I do not take my results accurately. The safety of this experiment also needs to be taken into consideration. To avoid injuries or potential death I will be careful with the knives I use and put them away adequately once I have completed my task involving them. I will also handle the glass jars carefully as this is also a safety issue. ...read more.

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