Elementary School Cooking & Food Science Science Projects (38 results)

Who doesn't love food? It's fun to make, it's fun to eat, it's fun to ...study? That's right! There is a lot of science that goes into the everyday foods that you love. Try one of our food science projects to explore questions such as how baking ingredients work, how and why certain ingredients mix well together, and why people's tastes differ.

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Science Fair Project Idea
Cake, cookies, pie, ice cream, hot chocolate, lemonade... Yum! What do all these delicious treats have in common? Sugar. In addition to providing sweetness, sugar adds bulk, flavor, and structure to foods. But is it necessary to add sugar to achieve sweetness? Can the same sweetness be achieved using sugar substitutes like artificial or natural sweeteners? In this project, you will test sugar and sugar substitutes and compare the sweetness of each in relation to sugar. In the end, your day will… Read more
FoodSci_p016
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Some specialty items needed, see Materials List for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Yogurt is a very versatile dairy product. It's yummy eaten straight from the container, it is good for your digestive system, and it can be used in several ways for cooking. There is historical evidence that yogurt-making developed 4,500 years ago! Humans depended on yogurt-making as a way to preserve milk. Yogurt is the result of bacterial fermentation of milk. In fermentation, the bacteria consume the milk sugar, lactose, and produce lactic acid. The end-product is a thick, creamy, and tangy… Read more
FoodSci_p030
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when working with a stovetop. Adult supervision is recommended.
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
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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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
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
OK, spill the beans, what's your favorite bean-rich food? Burritos? Chili? Or maybe you prefer the spicy Indian stew of lentils, known as dal? But what about fried tofu? Soymilk? Or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Did you know those foods come from beans as well? Beans are important to the diets of many people, and in this cooking and food science fair project, you'll learn how the liquid that beans are cooked in affects how quickly or slowly they soften. Read more
FoodSci_p026
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
Why are some fruits, like pineapple, not recommended for adding to gelatin? It is because the gelatin may not solidify well if it has these fruits in it. In this science project you will determine whether certain enzymes in some fruits are preventing gelatin from solidifying, and whether there is a way to still include these fruits without ruining your gelatin dessert. It is an experiment with edible results! Read more
FoodSci_p004
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily Available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended for making the gelatin, which involves using boiling water and a knife to cut the fruits.
Science Fair Project Idea
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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- Less Details
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.
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