Food and nutrition projects make great subject matter for science projects because they are generally quite simple, have important real-life applications and sometimes involve tasting delicious food. While some of these projects are more complex than others, there are a wide variety of easy, fun and educational projects to impress your classmates and teacher.
Measuring Iron in Breakfast Cereals
Many breakfast cereals claim to be high in iron content. This project allows you to put these claims to the test. You will need a very sensitive scale and a three-inch bar magnet (not a horseshoe magnet) that is not gray or black. Crush half a cup of cereal and put it in a bowl. Add one cup of hot water and mix it with a spoon. Stir the mixture with the magnet carefully and slowly for about five minutes. Iron filings will stick to the magnet. Remove them and weigh them. Try this for different cereals and compare how much iron is in each.
Food Packaging Experiment
This project will help you determine which kind of wrapping is best at keeping food chilled. Get three plastic food containers and fill them with water of the same temperature. Cover one container in plastic wrap, one in wax paper and one in aluminum foil. Seal each cover with an elastic. Put all three dishes in the same refrigerator for an hour. Remove them and measure the temperature of the water with a thermometer. Which is coldest and why?
Observing the Dyes in a Candy-Coated Chocolate
This project demonstrates the variety of dyes that go into a candy-coated chocolate. It may surprise you and your classmates to learn that even single-colored candies contained the dyes of many colors. Put a piece of blotting paper or filter paper on a plate. Place a candy-coated chocolate in the middle of the paper. Using an eye-dropper, drip water onto the candy very slowly until the circle of water on the paper is roughly one inch in diameter. Let the candy sit for a few minutes. Eventually, you should be able to observe rings of different colors around the candy. Why do you think the colors separate when they run? Why does a candy require different food colors?
Effects of Other Senses on Taste
Some believe that what we see and smell affects what we taste. Do this experiment on a few friends, or on your classmates (with permission from your teacher). Cut up a pear and an apple into slices. Put toothpicks into the slices. Blindfold the taster and ask him to plug his nose. Give him either a slice of apple or pear and ask him to guess which one it is. Do this on a number of people and record your results. How often were people incorrect?
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