Biology Practical: Energy Content Of Food

Related Topics:
Biology Required Practicals
GCSE/IGCSE Chemistry

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GCSE Biology Practical - The Energy Content Of Food

Investigate how much energy different foods contain.

  1. Add about 20cm3 of water to a boiling tube clamped in a retort stand.
  2. Weigh a small piece of food sample and record the mass.
  3. Record the starting temperature of the water.
  4. Place food sample on mounted needle.
  5. Ignite the food sample using a Bunsen burner.
  6. Hold the burning food sample about 1 cm under the boiling tube of water until completely burned
  7. Record the final temperature of the water.
  8. Calculate the change in temperature caused by the burning food sample.
  9. Repeat steps 1 - 8 with this food type to increase reliability.
  10. Calculate the average change in temperature for this food type.
  11. Calculate the energy released by this food type using this equation: Energy released (J) = mass of water (g) x rise in temperature (°C) x 4.2. (4.2 is the specific heat capacity of water)
  12. Repeat steps 1-8 with different food types for comparison.

GCSE Biology practical - Investigating The Energy Content Of Food

  • How to measure the energy content of food by burning it, using a bunsen burner and a boiling tube?
  • The equipment involved, the procedure to follow.
  • How to carry out the experiment safely?
  • How to use the equation E = mct in order to calculate the energy stored?

Measuring Energy in Food - GCSE Biology
This video will show how to set up the practical and also to analyse and interpret the results.

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