Science Project Details:

Effect of carbonated drinks on meat

Featured science projectScience project video Intermediate 4 < 1 week $10-$25 Readily available [+] More info
Difficulty: Intermediate 4
Cost ($): 20
Time required:
1 hour for preparation, 5 days for observation
Availability of materials:
Easily found. The meat may be purchased from any supermarket.
Safety concerns:

None

[-] Less info

Abstract

This science fair project was performed to find out if the acidity in Coca Cola can dissolve meat. The testing was done by placing pieces of steak, chicken breast and salmon into bowls filled with Coca Cola, and observing the meat for 5 days.

Hypothesis

Immersing the steak, chicken breast and salmon in Coca Cola over an extended period will not dissolve the meat.

Scientific Terms

Phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, enzymes, pepsin

Background

Coca Cola

Coca Cola is a popular carbonated beverage that is sold in more than 200 countries. Also known as Coke, it can be purchased from vending machines, department stores and restaurants all over the world. It is normally packed and sold in bottles, cans and PET bottles. Several newer versions of Coke, like Diet Coke and Vanilla Coke, are also being sold worldwide.

The main ingredients used to produce the Coca Cola drink are carbonated water, sugar, caffeine, phosphoric acid and some natural flavorings. The presence of phosphoric acid in Coca Cola makes the drink very acidic. It has a pH level of about 2.7. At this level of acidity, Coca Cola can dissolve the calcium in tooth enamel, chalk and limestone.

There are myths and rumors that the Coca Cola drink can actually dissolve a T-Steak in 2 days. However, this is very unlikely because the pH of our stomach is between 1.5 and 3.5. This is because of the presence of hydrochloric acid in our stomach. Despite having a pH lower than Coca Cola, our stomach still needs enzymes like pepsin to break down the food in our stomach for digestion.