Is a Denser Fruit Healthier?
Not all fruits and vegetables are alike. Although whole foods are a healthier choice there is a hierarchy of nutritional value between fruits and vegetables. As the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but we cannot live on apples alone. Although apples provide fiber and vitamin C they do not provide a sufficient amount of other nutrients. Potatoes, on the other hand, are higher in calories and carbohydrates, but contain only a fraction of the dietary fiber found in apples. Potatoes may make you feel full and give you energy but they do not provide an adequate amount of the essential nutrients. So does a fruit or vegetable’s density indicate its nutritional content? In this experiment students will measure the densities of fruits and vegetables, compare their nutrient values, and determine how density and nutrient content correlate.
Does a fruit/vegetable’s density indicate its nutritional value? Students will measure the densities of various fruits and vegetables to determine if there is a relationship between density and nutritional value.
- Various fruits & vegetables
- Scale (g)
- 500-1000mL graduated cylinder (wide mouth)
- Choose at least 10 fruits and vegetables to sample.
- Using your background research create a chart of each sample’s nutritional value.
- Weigh each of your samples record in grams.
- Fill a 500-1000mL graduated cylinder ½ way with water and record the volume.
- Place the sample into the graduated cylinder so that it is submerged in the water.
- Measure the volume of the water and submerged object.
- Repeat for each object.
- From the weight and displacement measurements calculate: volume, mass, and density.
- Compare the densities to the nutritional content from your table. Choose at least 5 nutrients to compare. Each nutrient can be compared individually since some fruits will contain nutrients not found in other foods. Create a graph comparing food density and nutrient content using an X,Y scatter plot.
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