Education of natural science in schools with help of experiments of food investigations

Friday, August 26, 2016

Authors: Margit Izsák, János Bozi, Eszter Imola Tisza-Kósa, Gergely Levente Szabó,
András S. Szabó

1. Summary


Experiments play a particularly important role in the teaching of science subjects. Students are very fond of experiments performed with substances well-known to them, in our case, foods. In this article, ten simple physical, chemical and biological experiments are described in the following topics: microwave heating for mass and water content determination, discoloring a tea beverage, unscrewing the top of a jam bottle, changes in the texture of biscuits and bread during storage, dissolution and chemical reactions of cooking oil, thermal instability of margarine, determination of the acid degree value of milk, hydrolysis of egg protein, and protein denaturation.
Foods used in the tests and experiments are: ascorbic acid, lemons, citric acid, jam, cooking oil, fruit juice, fruit syrup, traditional tea, fruit tea, biscuits, bread, margarine, baking soda, milk and egg protein.
The experiments were designed at Congregatio Jesu Ward Mária Elementary School, High School and Music vocational School of Budapest, where the scientific, ethical and human education are on equaled level.

2. Introduction

As was already described in our two previous articles [1], [2], we are convinced that the presentation of experiments plays a particularly important role in the teaching of science subjects. If science experiments are incorporated in teaching, i.e., theoretical topics are illustrated, hopefully our educational work will be more effective and successful.
Both in our previous articles, 10 experiments each were described, some of them being more of physical nature, while others of chemical or biological nature. Obviously, there is no sharp boundary between these disciplines, and we think that presenting the overlaps and relationships between these subjects and, furthermore, emphasizing the links between them form an important part of the modern approach to science education. In the following section, 10 simple experiments, related to food testing, are described again, that can be performed without much difficulty in a moderately equipped school laboratory for physical, biological and chemical experiments. As additional information to the presentations, the scientific literature comprehensively dealing with the subject of food testing, food analysis [3], [4],[5], [6] can be brought to the students’ attention as well.

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