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Dissolution Rate of Lactase Pills



Researched by Baylee B. 


The purpose of this experiment was to determine the rate of dissolution for several dairy digestive supplements, lactase pills.

I became interested in this idea because I am lactose intolerant and I wanted to buy the fastest acting pill.

The information gained from this experiment would help consumers know which brand of lactase pills will dissolve fastest so they can make the best purchasing decision. 


My hypothesis was that the brand from Wal Mart would dissolve faster than the Western Family brand and Lactase Enzyme brand, and the Lactaid Ultra brand.

I based my hypothesis on the fact that the Wal Mart brand pill is rougher than the Western Family brand pill, the Lactase Enzyme, and the Lactaid Ultra brand pill.

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The constants in this study were: 

  • Amount of water (250ml) for each test
  • Temperature of water (37* Celsius)
  • Speed of magnetic stirrer (high setting)
  • Type of water (tap)
  • Amount of pills (one) tested at one time
  • Testing procedures
  • Type of stopwatch 
  • Type of pill (lactase)
The manipulated variable was the brand of lactase pills. 

The responding variable was the dissolution time.   

To measure the responding variable I will use a stopwatch accurate to 1 one hundredth of a second.  

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Quantity Item Description
5 lactase pills for each of the 4 brands
2 magnetic stirrer
600ml of tap water
2 300 ml glass beaker
1 celsius thermometer
1 pair of heat resistant
1 thick lap apron
1 set goggles
1 microwave

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1. Measure 250ml of tap water 
2. Pour 250ml of water into a microwave safe container  
3. Heat water in microwave to 37* Celsius 
4. Pour heated water into 300 ml glass beaker (Only up to the 250 mark though) 
5. Put onto magnetic stirrer’s base 
6. Drop in magnetic stirring capsule  
7. Turn on magnetic stirrer to high (Let the stirrer get going fast before you drop in the pill) 
8. Drop in first brand of lactase pill 
9. Immediately Start stopwatch 
10. When the pill dissolves (disappears) stop the stop watch then the stirrer 
11. Record the dissolution time of the pill in minutes and seconds 
12. Repeat steps 1-11 for the other pills of this same brand (5 more times) 
13. Repeat steps 1-12 using the next brand of pills 
14. Repeat steps 1-13 with the remaining brands  
15. Average the dissolution rate for each brand. 
16. Compare brands

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The original purpose of this experiment was to determine which brand of lactase pills would dissolve the fastest.

The results of the experiment were that the Lactase Enzyme brand dissolved the fastest.  

See my data table and graph.

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My hypothesis was that the brand Equate brand would dissolve faster than the Western Family brand and Lactase Enzyme brand, and the Lactaid Ultra brand.

The results indicate that this hypothesis should be rejected.  

Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder if I used a mixture of simulated stomach acid (hydrochloric).

If I were to conduct this project again I would have tried to get some more brands of lactase pills so that the experiment would have been more meaningful.

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Dissolution is the act or process of breaking up into parts; disintegration. A lactase pill can use the act of dissolution because it will break up into tiny particles not just stay all together.  

A Solvent is a liquid that is capable of dissolving another substance. Something that is a solvent is water. Water is a solvent because it can dissolve things like lactase pills. Many other liquids are solvents as well. Soluble means capable of being dissolved. Soluble things are also called solutes. A solute is like a lactase pill. A lactase pill is a solute because it is capable of being dissolved. Aspirin is also a solute because it can be dissolved.  

Rate is a measured quantity that occurs or is attained within the limits of a fixed quantity. In this project you would use rate to write down the times that the lactase pills dissolved.  

The milk of cows is used as food by humans. Milk is used in many baked goods and other things that you can cook or bake. Yogurt, butter, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, sour cream, and liquid milk all are milk products, so they all contain some lactose. Butter is churned milk fat. Cheese is treated curd of milk. Cream is rich milk containing 18% milk fat. Ice cream is frozen dairy products. Yogurt is thick custard like form of cultured milk.  

Milk is considered a very healthy food and part of a well balanced diet. A person is supposed to have four to six servings of dairy a day. Without being able to have milk then you wouldn’t be able to stay healthy because you wouldn’t have your four to six servings a day. That is why it is very important to have your full four to six servings a day. -

Milk has a lot of different ingredients. The composition of milk is: 
* 87. 4% Water 
*. 7% Minerals 
* 3. 5% Fat 
* 3. 5% Protein 
* 4. 9% Carbohydrates (including lactose)

One ingredient is lactose, which makes up about 5%. Anything with milk in it has at least a little bit of lactose inside of it. Some people become ill when they eat lactose containing foods. Without lactase pills lactose intolerant people wouldn’t be able drink milk or eat any other milk products. That would cut out a lot of the very healthy foods from their diets. It wouldn’t be healthy to eliminate all milk products from one’s diet. That is why Lactase is very important.   

Lactose is a white crystalline sugar that is found in milk and has the formula C12H22O11. It is used in infant foods, bakery, and various sweets. Lactose intolerence is caused by genetic metabolic defects where certain enzymes are missing. Lactose intolerance usually affects Asian, African Americans, and Indians. Lactose intolerance is a life long condition. 70% of the world’s population is lactose intolerance. 1 to 3% of babies are lactose intolerance. The difference between lactose and lactase is that lactase is the enzyme that breaks up lactose. Lactose intolerance can make you have very bad stomach aches.  

Lactase is an enzyme found in some yeasts and in the digestive juices of mammals. That decomposes lactose into simpler sugars like glucose. Lactase breaks down the sugar in milk called Lactose. Lactase helps people with lactose intolerance because without lactase the lactose would hurt our stomachs. Without Lactose then there would be no reason for lactase.  

 An Enzyme is a molecule that speeds up chemical reactions in all living things. No life would be possible without enzymes. Reactions would occur to slowly or not at all without enzymes. Life would not be possible without enzymes. Every living cell makes an enzyme. Enzymes are not alive. Altered molecules combined with enzymes forms a complex molecular structure in which chemical reactions take place. The enzyme would then separate from the product of the reaction. Most enzymes are proteins. A small number or ribonucleic acid molecules also function as enzymes. The human body has thousands of different kinds of enzymes. Each different brand has it’s own use. Without enzymes a person could not move, digest food, see, or breathe. Most enzymes break down complex substances into simpler ones. The word enzyme comes from two Greek words meaning in yeast. Scientists who studied in the 1800’s studied reactions caused by yeast enzymes. James B. Sumner was the first person to isolate a pure enzyme in the form of crystals.   

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Barry, Roger D. “Lactic Acid. ” World Book Encyclopedia, 1999.

“Dissolving. ” Young Scientist pp. 19?21.

“Lactose. ” Webster’s Family Encyclopedia, 1990, 6.

Marshall, Robert T. "Milk. ” World Book Encyclopedia, 1998.

Mayo Clinic Family Health Book. New York, New York, William Morrow and Company Pgs. 772, 1049.

The New Good Housekeeping Family Health and Medical Guide. New York, New York, Hearst Cooperation 1989, pgs. 497.

Rudolph, Fredrick B. , “Enzyme” World Book Encyclopedia, 1998.

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I would like to thank the following people for helping make my project possible:
  • My mom for buying me the lactase pills that I needed
  • Mr. Newkirk for encoring me to keep working
  • Mrs. Helms for telling me to keep working

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