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Science Buddies: "Ask an Expert" • FAQ for "Sweet as Sugar"
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FAQ for "Sweet as Sugar"

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:10 am
by amyc
The following FAQ contains frequently asked questions and answers about the "Sweet as Sugar: Comparing the Sweetness of Sugar & Sugar Substitutes" Project Idea and/or project kit (https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... l?from=AAE). If you are having trouble with the procedure, you may find assistance in the answers below.

Q: I did not get consistent results with my taste testers; different testers had different thresholds of taste. What went wrong?
A: Every person is different, and so people's threshold of taste may be different, too. That is part of why it is important to have at least 10 testers: the more people you test, the less these individual differences matter. Use the histograms you make in step 3 of "Analyzing the Data" to help you find the most common threshold of taste for each sweetener. What was the threshold of taste for most people?

Also note that if your solutions were not mixed completely so that all of the sweetener dissolved, then the bottom of the solution may be sweeter than the upper parts of the solution. Be sure to mix your solutions until all of the crystals are dissolved.

Q: I am having trouble getting the honey to dissolve. Do you have any tips?
A: Honey (and all of the sweeteners, in fact) will dissolve faster in warm water than cold water. Try heating the solution for 10 seconds in the microwave, if you already used cold water to make the solution. Do not microwave the solutions for too long or it will get hot enough to burn you.

Q: What are the taste testers trying to taste in the solutions?
A: Taste testers should be looking for differences between the solutions and distilled water. Taste testers are looking for a change in taste, not just a change in sweetness.

If you have other questions about the procedure or need assistance troubleshooting the "Sweet as Sugar: Comparing the Sweetness of Sugar & Sugar Substitutes" Project Idea and/or project kit, please post your question in the forum at Ask an Expert: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... m.php?f=77. Our team of volunteer Experts is available to assist. We attempt to reply to questions within 24 hours. Please note that you will need a free Ask an Expert account in order to post questions.