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How the temperature of food affects our tasteFeatured science projectScience project video

Materials

The materials required for the experiment:

  • 20 male and 20 female participants
  • 6 jugs labeled A, B, C, D, E and F
  • 240 plastic spoons for tasting
  • 40 plastic cups
  • 1 wooden spatula to mix sugar and water
  • 1 packet of sugar
  • 6 liters of cold drinking water
  • Thermometer
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Spoon to mix the sugar
  • Small weighing machine to measure 20g to 100g weight. 

Procedure

  1. For this experiment, the independent variable is the sweetness of the water and the temperature of the sweetened water. The dependent variable is the perceived sweetness of a sample from each jug by the participants. This is determined by having the participants do a taste test and through filling in a simple questionnaire. The constants (control variables) are sugar as the taste element.
     
  2. The sugar is added and mixed with the drinking water inside the jugs according to the ratio given in the table below. The jugs are also marked accordingly.

    Mixture Jug A Jug B Jug C Jug D Jug E Jug F
    Sugar 10 grams 20 grams 50 grams 60 grams 90 grams 100 grams
    Water 1 liter 1 liter 1 liter 1 liter 1 liter 1 liter
     
  3. Put all jugs in the refrigerator/freezer to bring the temperature of the drinks to 10 0C.
     
  4. Take out all the jugs and instruct the participants to use a plastic spoon to take a sample from each jug. They are to compare Jug A versus B, Jug C versus D and Jug E versus F. After tasting the sample, they are to spit out the contents into a plastic cup.
     
  5. Fill in the first column, ticking the 3 jugs that tasted sweeter when compared to the other sample. (e.g. Jug A is sweeter than Jug B. Therefore, tick A at 10 degrees Celsius)
     
  6. The procedure above is repeated by bringing the temperature of the sweetened water to 20 0C (almost room temperature), 30 0C and 40 0C. An oven maybe used to raise the temperature of the water. Fill in their responses as they see fit.
     
  7. The participants are given a form to fill out the result of their tasting experiment.
     
  8. Calculate the number of ticks for each comparison and find the percentage that chose B over A, D over C and F over E. Tabulate your results.
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Complexity level:
3
Project cost ($):
10
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 2 hours for observation
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

None