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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The first bite of a fresh-picked apple, the crunch of morning toast, the deep cut into rich, flaky layers of baklava, the pleasing snap of a chip. Besides being delicious, what do these foods have in common? They're crisp. They have a brittleness that causes them to shatter in your mouth when you first bite into them. It's a sensation that many people enjoy. Making potatoes crispy requires some extra cooking steps, as you'll discover in this food science project, but the results are well worth… Read more
FoodSci_p042
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution when using a sharp knife and when working around a hot oven. You should not do this science fair project if you are allergic to potatoes or other vegetables from the nightshade family of plants.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Apple pie is one of America's traditional desserts. It can be enjoyed on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cool sweetness of the ice cream combines with the warm apples and flaky pastry to create a taste sensation. However, if the pastry that surrounds the apples is heavy or chewy then that can really affect how much you enjoy this treat. But how do you make a pastry that is light and flaky? In this cooking and food science fair project, you will find out by experimenting with… Read more
FoodSci_p055
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You must have access to a refrigerator, an oven, and a stovetop.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury is possible.
Science Fair Project Idea
Peanut butter is a popular ingredient in sandwiches, cookies, and many other common foods. In this cooking and food science fair project, you will roast peanuts in the oven at 350 degrees for 20, 30, and 40 minutes to produce variable levels of color and flavor. Roasting not only adds complex flavors to the peanuts, but it also destroys enzymes that produce off-flavors. Each lot of roasted peanuts will be used to make a batch of peanut butter. You will evaluate each batch of peanut butter for… Read more
FoodSci_p027
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items: Mortar and pestle to grind peanuts. The mortar should be at least 5 inches in diameter. Raw peanuts can be purchased in some grocery stores or can be ordered online.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required to roast the peanuts. Students who have peanut allergies, or who live with others who have such allergies, should avoid this project.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever noticed that most yogurt containers say they contain "live cultures"? What does that mean? The label is suggesting that the yogurt has living bacteria in it! While some types of bacteria can make you sick, some are actually important to keep you healthy. But individual bacteria are so tiny that you cannot see one with the naked eye, so how can you tell if bacteria are really living in your yogurt? In this science fair project, you will investigate whether yogurt actually… Read more
FoodSci_p072
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to special order the agar plates. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety The bacteria in the yogurt is not harmful; however, it is possible for other bacteria to grow on the agar plates. For that reason, make sure to follow all the safety guidelines in the Experimental Procedure. Be sure to dispose properly any plates with bacteria when the experiment is over. Adult help is required to light a candle.
Science Fair Project Idea
Brrrr, freezing cold! It's the worst nightmare of any fresh fruit or vegetable! If the produce in your kitchen had legs, they would run in a panic every time the freezer door opens. Why? Well, freezing temperatures are not kind to fresh produce. Freezing kills the plant tissues and alters them on both a chemical and physical level. Chemically, the enzymes in the produce become more concentrated and do not work normally, so that discoloration, off-flavors, vitamin breakdown, and toughness may… Read more
FoodSci_p035
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A specialty item to help view the structure of the vegetables is optional.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the stove and working around boiling water.
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
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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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 A plate of spaghetti, meatballs, and marinara sauce is a delicious and comforting meal. It's also an inexpensive meal, because it only costs about $12 to feed a family of four. And it's easy to make when you're on the go and need to eat a quick, but healthy dinner. Just boil a big pot of water, throw in your favorite pasta, cook for 11 minutes, drain, and top with meatballs and warm marinara sauce. Quick and cheap! But sometimes it feels like forever when you are waiting for water to boil,… Read more
FoodSci_p060
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You must have access to a stovetop.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You need to be very careful when you work with a stovetop. You will also need to be cautious when draining the hot pasta.
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
In this project you'll make a liquid that will contradict your expectations. Hold it loosely in your hand and it will drip off your fingers, but grab it tightly and it will feel solid. Slap a bowl of it with a spoon, and instead of splattering, it solidifies. Do background research on colloids, and be sure you can explain the following terms: colloid, Newtonian fluid, non-Newtonian fluid, thixotropic. (For instructions on how to make it see the link listed under Exploratorium, 1998, in the… Read more
Chem_p031
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
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