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DROPPED LIKE A HOT POTATO!

Extract the starch from raw potatoes and break it up into sugar

Suitable For

Grade 6

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <24 Hours

Supervision

Required

What’s it about?

Starch is made up of long chains of glucose molecules. Many scientists believe that the ‘starch’ molecule is one of the biggest and most complex of all the food molecules. When starch is combined with hot water, it breaks up into a kind of sugar molecule called ‘dextrin’.

When the ‘dextrin’ is heated further, it breaks up into even smaller sugar molecules called ‘maltose’. In this science experiment you will extract the starch from a potato and then turn it into sugar by heating it:

Topics covered

Starch, Dextrin, Maltose

What will I need?

  • METAL PAN
  • BOWL OF WATER
  • LARGE RAW POTATO
  • PIECE OF CLOTH
  • 2x COFFEE FILTERS
  • FUNNEL
  • SPOON

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

Most plants store energy in the form of ‘starch’ and therefore many parts of plants are rich in starch, such as root vegetables and seeds. Food high in starch provides energy. A starch molecule is much larger than a sugar molecule, and when starch is heated it breaks apart into the smaller sugar molecules which allows it to be more easily digested.

In nature, the sun’s energy is used during a process called photosynthesis, to help plants break down the stored starch into the sugars the plants need to survive. The starch left on the coffee filter tasted familiar because the heating turned it into a type of sugar used as glue for stamps and to seal envelopes!

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