Home Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Investigate the Vitamin C Level in Bell Peppers During Various Stages of Ripeness *

Difficulty
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Titration equipment and supplies are needed. A kit is available from the Science Buddies Store.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision required. Iodine solution is poisonous. Avoid skin and eye contact. Wear chemical safety goggles and rubber gloves when handling the concentrated solution. For more tips, consult the Chemistry Safety Guide
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.

Abstract

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that has many functions in the body. Vitamin C is needed to bolster the immune system. It is an antioxidant that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage, and it is needed to make collagen, a substance that strengthens many parts of the body, such as muscles and blood vessels. Our bodies do not make vitamin C, so we must get it from dietary sources. Citrus fruits, carrots, avocados, and spinach all have vitamin C. Bell peppers, like the ones shown in Figure 1, below, also contain vitamin C. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are all ripe versions of the green bell pepper. But how do the vitamin C levels vary among the different colors or ripeness of bell peppers? Does ripeness matter? To quantify the amount of vitamin C, you will need to do some titrating.

Cooking and Food  Science Project bell peppers
Figure 1. Colorful bell peppers. (Luc Viatour, 2008.)

Titration is a chemistry technique used to determine the unknown concentration of a chemical in a solution. For information on how to titrate, consult the references in the Bibliography and the science fair project idea Which Orange Juice Has the Most Vitamin C?. You could use the titration kit from the Science Buddies Store and follow the Procedure for that science project idea, but instead of using orange juice, use a de-seeded and de-stemmed bell pepper that has been blended with water (and then filtered using cheesecloth). You may want to weigh the bell pepper before blending it and adjust your samples so that you use the same amount of each type of bell pepper. This will make it easier to compare your results. For more information about doing a titration, visit the Science Buddies webpage Titration Tutorial: Tips & Tricks for Titrating.

So which color bell pepper do you think will have the most vitamin C, or do you think they will all have similar amounts? Try this science project and do some titrations to find out for yourself!

Cite This Page

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Investigate the Vitamin C Level in Bell Peppers During Various Stages of Ripeness" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 26 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 July 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/FoodSci_p039.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, February 26). Investigate the Vitamin C Level in Bell Peppers During Various Stages of Ripeness. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/FoodSci_p039.shtml

Share your story with Science Buddies!

I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.


Last edit date: 2014-02-26

Bibliography

This next entry is an article that discusses the level of vitamin C as a function of ripeness in a variety of bell peppers.

  • Antoniali, S. et al. (2007). Physico-Chemical Characterization of 'Zarco-HS' Yellow Bell Pepper for Different Ripeness Stages. Scientia Agricola, Vol. 64, No. 1, Retrieved October 8, 2008, from http://www.scielo.br/pdf/sa/v64n1/a03v64n1.pdf

Order Product Supplies

Buy Kit
Project Kit: $119.95

Share your story with Science Buddies!

I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

Share your story with Science Buddies!

I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

Ask an Expert

The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.

Ask an Expert

Contact Us

If you have purchased a kit for this project from Science Buddies, we are pleased to answer your questions.

In your email, please follow these instructions:
  1. What is your Science Buddies kit order number?
  2. Please describe how you need help as thoroughly as possible:

    Examples

    Good Question I'm trying to do Experimental Procedure step #5, "Scrape the insulation from the wire. . ." How do I know when I've scraped enough?
    Good Question I'm at Experimental Procedure step #7, "Move the magnet back and forth . . ." and the LED is not lighting up.
    Bad Question I don't understand the instructions. Help!
    Good Question I am purchasing my materials. Can I substitute a 1N34 diode for the 1N25 diode called for in the material list?
    Bad Question Can I use a different part?

Contact Us

Related Links

If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:

nutritionist helping client

Dietitian or Nutritionist

Ever wondered who plans the school lunch, food for patients at a hospital, or the meals for athletes at the Olympics? The answer is dietitians and nutritionists! A dietitian or nutritionist's job is to supervise the planning and preparation of meals to ensure that people—like students, patients, and athletes—are getting the right foods to make them as healthy and as strong as possible. Some dietitians and nutritionists also work to educate people about good food choices so they can cook and eat their own healthy meals. Read more
food science technician checking an egg

Food Science Technician

Good taste, texture, quality, and safety are all very important in the food industry. Food science technicians test and catalog the physical and chemical properties of food to help ensure these aspects. Read more
Agricultural technician evaluating a plant

Agricultural Technician

As the world's population grows larger, it is important to improve the quality and yield of food crops and animal food sources. Agricultural technicians work in the forefront of this very important research area by helping scientists conduct novel experiments. If you would like to combine technology with the desire to see things grow, then read further to learn more about this exciting career. Read more
Scientists inspecting special corn oil

Food Scientist or Technologist

There is a fraction of the world's population that doesn't have enough to eat or doesn't have access to food that is nutritionally rich. Food scientists or technologists work to find new sources of food that have the right nutrition levels and that are safe for human consumption. In fact, our nation's food supply depends on food scientists and technologists that test and develop foods that meet and exceed government food safety standards. If you are interested in combining biology, chemistry, and the knowledge that you are helping people, then a career as a food scientist or technologist could be a great choice for you! Read more

Looking for more science fun?

Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.

Find an Activity