An Investigation to Find the Effect of Sugar Concentration on Osmosis in Potato Chips

An Investigation to Find the Effect of Sugar Concentration on Osmosis in Potato Chips

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An Investigation to Find the Effect of Sugar Concentration on Osmosis in Potato Chips

Introduction:

Osmosis is the passage of water molecules from an area of high
concentration to an area of low concentration through a partially
permeable membrane. In this case, Osmosis applied to the practical
because the aim was to see if a sugared solution had an effect on
osmosis in potato chips, it was intended to find out if different
concentrations of sucrose solution caused a selectively permeable
membrane, or a potato chip, to become larger or smaller. It was
planned to use six different concentrations of sucrose solution and
for each concentration; three sets of results were taken. The change
of weight for each result was then found and finally, the average
weight change was found.

Prediction:

It was predicted that the higher the sugar concentration, water would
transfer from the potato into the sugared solution making the potato
decrease in weight, and vice versa for the lower sugar concentrations.
It was believed this would happen because since the solution was
diluted with water, the water molecules will transfer over to the
stronger solution. Thus materializing osmosis.

Fair test:

To create a fair test certain aspects of the experiment were kept the
same whilst one key variable was changed. It was chosen to vary the
concentration of the sucrose solution. For the purpose of the
experiment, all experiments were carried out at the same time so the
temperature was kept almost the same throughout. The mass of the
potato was a dependent variable. This means that it was measured
throughout the experiment. The mass was measured in grams. The potato
chip was measured before it was put in the solution, and after it was
taken out. This allowed it to be seen whether osmosis had taken place,
and to what extent. It was essential that the volume of the solution
that the potato chips were kept in must be the same. The potato chip
was made sure to be totally covered in the solution, and the amount of

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solution was kept the same because all the potato chips were the same
size. The same balance was also used to weigh the potato chips. This
was because the measurements may have slightly varied between
different sets of scales.

Apparatus:

· Ruler (15cm)

· Scalpel

· Small cutting board

· Core borer

· Sugar solution (0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 25%)

· Measuring cylinder (100cm3 )

· Boiling tubes

· Test tube rack

· Potato

· Stop clock

Diagram:

Method:

six potatoes were cut into 20mm cylindrical pieces using a core borer
and checked with a ruler to ensure all six pieces were the same length
to ensure a fair test as we are looking for a change in weight. The
pieces were then weighed and the results were presented in a table.
After this each cylindrical piece was put into a different strength
solution (there were six strengths ranging equally from 0% to 25%).
They were left here for a recorded amount of time, as each potato must
only be in the solutions for 30 minutes. They were then reweighed and
this second set of results was shown in the table of results. This
method was repeated three times for accurate and precise results. All
three times the experiment took place in a laboratory and was a safe
experiment as no dangerous chemicals were used.

The below are the table of results for all three experiments
conducted:

Table of results for experiment 1:

Concentration of sugar solution (%)

Mass before (g)

Mass after (g)

Change (g)

0.0

2.01

2.18

+ 0.17

5.00

1.87

1.94

+ 0.07

10.00

1.88

1.91

+ 0.03

15.00

1.92

1.78

- 0.14

20.00

1.91

1.64

- 0.27

25.00

1.95

1.6

-0.34

Table of results for experiment 2:

Concentration of sugar solution (%)

Mass before (g)

Mass after (g)

Change (g)

0.0

1.92

2.04

+ 0.12

5.00

1.96

1.98

+ 0.02

10.00

1.97

1.93

- 0.04

15.00

1.96

1.79

- 0.17

20.00

1.97

1.67

- 0.03

25.00

2.06

1.68

-0.38

Table of results for experiment 3:

Concentration of sugar solution (%)

Mass before (g)

Mass after (g)

Change (g)

0.0

1.92

2.04

+ 0.12

5.00

1.96

1.98

+ 0.02

10.00

1.97

1.93

- 0.04

15.00

1.96

1.79

- 0.17

20.00

1.97

1.67

- 0.03

25.00

2.06

1.68

-0.38

Recording the results of the weight after each experiment was very
easy. There was little hassle involved. Therefore producing an
accurately detailed result table. Table of results to show the average
amount of weight gained/lost over all three experiments:

Strength of solution Change 1 (g)

Change 2 (g)

Change 3 (g)

Average (g)

0.00% + 0.17

+ 0.12

+ 0.12

+ 0.14

5.00% + 0.07

+ 0.02

+ 0.02

+ 0.04

10.00% + 0.03

- 0.04

- 0.04

- 0.05

15.00% - 0.14

- 0.17

- 0.17

- 0.16

20.00% - 0.27

- 0.30

- 0.30

- 0.29

25.00% -0.34

- 0.38

- 0.38

-0.37

To find the average the following formula was used:

(Change 1 + change 2 + change 3) : 3 = Average

Analysis:

From these experiments, the table of results and line graph helped me
to find that my predictions were correct. In lower concentrations of
sucrose, Osmosis takes place and the potato chips become turgid. In
higher concentrations of sucrose, Osmosis takes place but the potato
chips become pliable. As the concentration in the solution became more
intense, the potato lost weight. For instance, the average difference
in weight for 0.00% sugar solution was 0.17 grams, while for 25% the
average difference was -0.34. This happened because there was a high
concentration of water, in the 0.00%. Outside of the potato is a high
concentration of water, while inside the potato is a low concentration
of water, but a high concentration of sugar. So, by way of osmosis,
the water from outside moved into the potato which made the size
increase resulting in heavier potato pieces. The same works for a high
sugar concentration outside, the potato will release some of its water
ensuing it losing weight. So the higher the sugar solution, the more
weight will be lost this was what had been predicted, and through
having sufficient background knowledge an accurate hypothesis could be
accomplished.

It was noticed that the second and third experiments both had exactly
the same weights before osmosis took place; this meant that the second
weights were also the same and proved that the experiment-taking place
both times was accurate and was made sure to be a fair test. However
some of the gaps compared to the first test were quite big, for
example in the 10.00% solution the first change gained 0.03grams but
in the second and third experiments it decreased by 0.04 grams this is
quite a considerable loss considering the second and third results
were identical. Possible explanations for this could be that the sugar
solution was measured wrongly or there was an error in recording the
results. Alternatively, it may have been left in the solution slightly
longer than planned therefore giving them maximum exposure to greater
osmosis.

Evaluation:

In conclusion, to all the information found in this investigation it
was felt that the experiments were a success. A reasonably informative
graph could be produced from the results, the experiment was repeated
enough times for an adequate analysis to be made. However if the
experiment was to be repeated again it would be sensible to leave the
potatoes in their solution for a longer amount of time as to give the
experiment ample time for osmosis to occur and therefore much more
defined results. Another thing that could have made the results more
precise would have been a measuring scale that went up to three or
more decimal places as to ensure perfect results. Overall, the results
were adequate, the aim was realized, the prediction was correct and it
was a fair test; therefore producing a successful investigation of
finding the effect of sugar concentration on osmosis in potato chips.
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