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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Spicy fried tofu. It's a delicious and savory main dish at many Asian restaurants. Stab a golden-brown piece, bite into it, and the juice inside rushes out, filling your mouth with rich flavors. Continue eating and you find the texture is very chewy and meat-like. Did you ever wonder how those white blocks of tofu you see in grocery stores are transformed into the chewy little sponges packed with flavorful juices you see in Asian restaurants? Try this cooking and food science fair project to… Read more
FoodSci_p045
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Two small graduated cylinders are required. A specialty item to help view the structure of the tofu is optional. Read the Materials and Equipment list for more information.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the knife.
Science Fair Project Idea
When you open a can of green beans, have you ever wondered why the beans are not mushy, or more like a puree? Canning requires boiling the beans for a long period of time to kill bacteria, so why don't the beans fall apart into small pieces? Some fruits and vegetables—like cherries, apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, beans, cauliflower, and tomatoes—have the ability to undergo hardening, or firming of their plant tissues. A special enzyme, called pectin methyl… Read more
FoodSci_p034
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
When you think of successful inventions from the 1900's that have dramatically changed how people live, what comes to mind? The car? Radio? TV? The computer? What about the microwave oven? You might not remember a time when microwave ovens were not a standard part of most kitchens, but your parents or grandparents probably do. They can remember when heating leftovers took a good 30 minutes in a traditional oven. Or thawing a food from the freezer meant leaving it in the refrigerator overnight.… Read more
FoodSci_p033
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Access to a microwave oven and microwave-safe cookware.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the microwave oven.
Science Fair Project Idea
Caramelization is the name of the cooking process that occurs as sugar is heated and the molecules begin to break apart. But what happens to the sugar as it breaks apart? And what do the physical changes mean for the flavor of the sugar? Using the Internet or cookbooks, read up on the chemistry of caramelization, then head to the kitchen with an adult to caramelize your own batch of sugar. With an adult's help, dissolve 1 1/3 cups of sugar in 2/3 cup of water. Heat the mixture in a pan over… Read more
FoodSci_p018
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use caution when making the caramel, it is extremely hot and can burn severely if it gets on your skin. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
Can water remain liquid below its normal freezing point? If it does, that water is supercool(-ed). This project shows you a method for supercooling water. You can test water from different sources to see whether or not it can be supercooled. Read more
Phys_p033
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. Project will take longer if you have to order and ship a thermometer.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
How do you like your steak? The internal temperatures for beefsteaks at various levels of "doneness" are as follows: medium-rare, 145°F; medium, 155°F; medium-well, 165°F; and well-done, 170°F. What factors determine how long you have to cook a steak to reach the desired temperature? The temperature of the steak before you start to cook it will clearly be important. The temperature the steak is cooked at will also be a factor. And of course, the thickness of the steak will… Read more
FoodSci_p037
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
What is cooking? Cooking is applying heat to food in order to help make it taste good. But the decision to cook your food doesn't end there. Do you want to cook it at a low temperature for a long time or do you want to apply high heat and cook or sear it right away? You might think that a pot is just something in which to cook your food, but it is also a cooking tool. Pots and pans are made from different kinds of materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, iron, and ceramics. Each of these… Read more
FoodSci_p031
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Access to cooking pots made of different materials.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Always exercise caution when using a stove. Adult supervision is required. Make sure that the cooking pots you have chosen to test are designed for stovetop use.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail How does your family thaw and cook meat? Have you ever wondered if it is the safest way? In this practical science project, you can find out and shed light on safe practices in the kitchen by investigating how many viable bacteria are present in samples of meat that have been thawed or cooked using different methods. Read more
MicroBio_p015
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need access to a laboratory with facilities for culturing bacteria. You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures and bleach.
Science Fair Project Idea
If you browse through a candy cookbook, you might notice that many of the recipes call for corn syrup in addition to sugar. Both sugar and corn syrup are sweet, so why do you need corn syrup if you already have sugar? In candy making, corn syrup is known as an interfering agent. But what does this mean and how does it work? You can find out for yourself by making two batches of rock candy, one with corn syrup and one without. For example, you could alter the science project by replacing 1… Read more
FoodSci_p017
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety This science fair project requires adult help. The boiling sugar solution is extremely hot.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail As you know, vegetables not only taste good, but they are good for you. Many vegetables are a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that plays an important role in protecting the body from infection and disease. Humans do not make vitamin C on their own, so we must get it from dietary sources. Potatoes, like the ones shown in Figure 1, below, are one good source of vitamin C. Does cooking them affect how much vitamin C they have? In other words, if you boil a… Read more
FoodSci_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Titration equipment and supplies are needed. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Chem_p044.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision is 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 Science Buddies [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ChemistrySafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Chemistry Safety Guide" #].
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