Year 9s play at being food detectives.
Thornton’s Year 9s have been learning about a healthy human diet and the different nutrients it involves. Linking that to a practical laboratory test, Dr Parker walked them through the process of testing food samples by adding specific solutions to certain foods and noting colour changes.
The students carried out a number of chemical tests to indicate the presence of one of the three main food groups – carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
To test for protein, they added Biuret reagent to dried egg, which turned purple to indicate the presence of protein. To test for simple sugars, they added Benedict’s solution to icing sugar and heated the mixture. A positive test turned it orange-red. To determine if a potato contained starch, the test involved them adding iodine solution to the sample and seeing if it turned a blue-black colour.
Food tests like these will be a required practical in the future and already the girls are gaining an understanding of the chemistry of food and how it is broken down.