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Water Content in Fruits and Vegetables

3.7 based on 19 ratings

Updated on Jul 11, 2013

In varying degrees, the fruit and vegetables that we eat containwater. While high water content is loosely associated with higher values of macronutrients such as protein, it is not necessarily associated with vitamin and mineral content.

This project is about determining the water content of fruits and vegetables and determining whether it is related to the nutritional value of the food. The goal is to get students thinking about the properties of healthy foods.

Problem:

Does the water content of in a single serving of produce relate to the overall nutritionin a serving of that food?

Materials:

  • Orange, pineapple, watermelon, fresh peas, tomato or broccoli
  • Dehydrator
  • Good scale sufficient for measuring mg. (triple beam or electronic)
  • Calculator
  • Internet access

Procedure

  1. Weigh each fruit and vegetable separately and note its weight. For some fruits (such as a watermelon), weighing a serving size of the fruit will be more appropriate.
  2. Cut the produce up into thin slices and put it into the dehydrator. You may have to dehydrate each item separately. Just make sure that you dehydrate all of the pieces of a fruit together.
  3. Weight the dehydrated produce.
  4. Calculate what percentage of the fruit or vegetable is water by subtracting the dehydrated weight from the hydrated weight. Divide this value by the entire weight of the fruit and multiplying by 100.
  5. Make a chart comparing the water content of the fruits and veggies.
  6. Go to the USDA web site (found in the Bibliography) and find the nutrient value of each food.
  7. If the student has time, repeat this experiment with other foods.
Cy Ashley Webb is a science writer. In addition to having worked as a bench scientist and patent agent, she judges science fairs in the San Francisco bay area. She loves working with kids and inspiring them to explore the world through science.

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