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How do different cooking alternatives affect the Vitamin C content in vegetables?Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This experiment is conducted to find out how different cooking methods affect the vitamin C content in vegetables. Vitamin C is an essential mineral to the human body and vegetables are the main source of it in our diet. In order to preserve the Vitamin C concentration in the vegetable, the vegetables have to be cooked in the best way possible. Hypothesis: Vitamin C content would be lower for carrots cooked by boiling than if it were to be cooked by steaming. In addition, the longer period of time the vegetable is boiled, the lower the vitamin C content.

Hypothesis

Boiling destroys more vitamin C content than steaming.

Scientific Terms

Scurvy, Ascorbic acid, titration

Background

About Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water soluble mineral and is easily oxidized, especially in aqueous solutions. Vitamin C is sensitive to light, metals and heating.

Uses of Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is essential in the body. It helps in the production of cartilage, and is an important component for the formation of collagen in bones, muscle and blood vessels. Vitamin C also improves iron absorption. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of Vitamin C.

Deficiencies of Vitamin C

A deficiency of Vitamin C causes scurvy, a type of disease which causes the most noticeable symptom- bleeding gums. Some early warning signs of Scurvy include loss of appetite, the onset of diarrhea, shortness of breath, general weakness and fever. Left untreated, the individual may become irritable and/or depressed, experience leg pain, have a loss of muscular power, observe swelling over long bones of the body, become anemic and become pale. In addition, there would be poor wound healing, dry eyes, skin thickening (hyperkertosis) and bleeding (especially gum bleeding and bleeding behind the eyes causing prominence). Internally, the bleeding may occur at the joints of the ribs and sternum, thus resulting in a discoloration under the skin of the chest. The individual may have general skin bruising and may observe blood in the urine or stool. This bleeding can also affect the hair follicles, giving rise to pinpoint bleeding around the hair follicles.


 

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Complexity level:
6
Project cost ($):
10
Time required:
3 hours for experiment, 2 hours for observation
Material availability:
Students should prepare their own vegetables. The other equipments should be provided by the school.
Safety concerns:

None