If Starch is Composed of Sugar Why Isn't Starch Sweet? (page 2)

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Author: Michael Calhoun

Research Questions

  • What is starch?
  • What is the enzyme amylase?
  • Which indicator was used to test for starch, iodine or Clinitest tablets?
  • When the saltine cracker was in the mouth how did the flavor change? What caused this to happen?
  • How can one prove that starch is made-up of sugar?
  • What was the control for this project? 

Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research

Starches, carbohydrates, glucose sugar, polysaccharide, enzymes, and amylase

Experimental Procedure

  • Take several saltine crackers and crumble them in your hands over a large bowl to catch the pieces.
  • Place the crumble pieces into 2 test tubes add a little distilled water to both. Next place powdered starch into a clear plastic cup.

  • Add several drops of tincture of iodine to one of the cracker test tubes and the starch cup.
  • Without touching the tablet with your hands, drop one Clinitest tablet into the second testtube.
  • Watch while complete fizzing-boiling reaction takes place. Do not shake the test tube during fizzing, or for the following 15 seconds after fizzing has stopped.
  • At the end of this 15-second waiting period, shake the test tube gently to mix the contents.
  • Record the colors seen in the two test tubes and the starch cup.
Name of Test Sample                                    

         Colors Seen

Powdered Starch


Saltine cracker sample with iodine added  


Saltine cracker sample with Clinitest Reagent Tablet added

  • Place an unsalted saltine on your tongue, without chewing, and close your mouth until a sugary taste is detected.

  • Pour some of the cracker-saliva mixture into two clean test tubes. Add several drops of iodine to one of the cracker-saliva mixtures and a Clinitest Reagent Tabletto the other test tube. Again do not shake the test tube during fizzing, or for the following 15 seconds after fizzing has stopped.
  • Record the color changes for both.

Name of Test Sample                                                 

   Colors Seen

Saltine cracker-saliva mixture with iodine added   


Saltine cracker-saliva with Clinitest® Reagent Tabletsadded



Title: Starch: Glucose, Corn Syrup, Waxy Corn,& High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Publisher: General Books LLC, ISBN-13: 9781157624639 and ISBN: 1157624634 

This 132 page paperback book contains chapters about starch, its chemical structure, history of use, glucose, corn syrup, waxy corn, high-fructose corn syrup, and more. The young investigator and his or her parents (teachers) can use this book as a general reference resource.

Note: The Internet is dynamic; websites cited are subject to change without warning or notice!

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