Food Science

(All files are in PDF format unless otherwise noted.)

  • Banana DNA Extraction (zip)
    The DNA found in banana cells can be extracted using common, everyday materials.
  • Basic Synthesis
    This lesson plan is a tool to use when teaching chemical reactions. Students will synthesize magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide using common household products. Teacher conclusions and review of lab will demonstrate the use of chemistry in society and how the products synthesized in this lab are used in everyday life.
  • Electrifying Beverages
    In this demonstration, the average conductance of several common beverages will be determined. Students will relate the conductance of the beverages to ion concentrations inferred from beverage nutritional labels.
  • Energy Content of Foods
    The energy content of foods is investigated. The energy released by a number of food samples and absorbed by water is determined using technology. Inferences about the energy content of foods with high fat content and foods with high carbohydrate content are then made.
  • Flavor of Organic Chemistry
    This three-part unit introduces students to organic chemistry through the study of flavor. The unit presents basic concepts of organic chemistry such as defining organic compounds, functional groups, naming organic compounds, and the importance of organic molecules in everyday life. Lesson One, What is Flavor. . .and How do We Know?, introduces students to the components of flavor, taste and aroma, through interactive experiences. In Lesson Two, Making Scents of Esters, students prepare esters through the process of esterification. In Lesson Three, Flavor-"Fool", students discover how the five senses affect the perception of flavor. The lessons contained in this unit may be used together as a unit or as stand-alone lessons.
    • Flavor-"Fool"
      Introduces students to organic chemistry through the study of flavor. In this lesson, students discover how the five senses affect the perception of flavor. (This is activity may be used as a stand-alone lesson or as Lesson 3 of a 3-part unit entitled The Flavor of Organic Chemistry).
    • Making Scents of Esters
      Introduces students to organic chemistry through the study of flavor. In this lesson, students prepare esters through the process of esterification. (This is activity may be used as a stand-alone lesson or as Lesson 2 of a 3-part unit entitled The Flavor of Organic Chemistry).
    • What is Flavor...And How Do We Know?
      Introduces students to organic chemistry through the study of flavor. In this lesson, students learn about the components of flavor, taste, and aroma through interactive experiences. (This is activity may be used as a stand-alone lesson or as Lesson 1 of a 3-part unit entitled The Flavor of Organic Chemistry).
  • Food Contamination: Testing the 5-Second Rule
    In this lesson, students will test the old myth: If food is dropped onto a surface (floor, table, etc.) and is picked up within five seconds, it will not have any germs on it and is still edible. Students will test this myth through the use of both wet and dry food sources on surfaces with suspected germ activity.
  • FOOD FIGHT! Product Development Competition
    FOOD FIGHT! is a semester-long project that challenges students to become food scientists as they apply basic science concepts to the development of a new food product. Through a series of labs, classroom activities, and project assignments, students will learn the stages of product development and apply this knowledge to the development of an original food item. Lesson plans that are used in this competition schedule: How Sweet It Is!The Chemist's CookbookCan You Believe Everything You See?One of These Things Is Not Like the Other (Triangle Test)The Tomato...Flavorful of Flavorless? and The Perfect Package.
  • Food Irradiation...Friend or Foe? (zip)
    In this presentation, students will learn about the application of nuclear radiation to food sterilization. Students will learn why food is irradiated, the types of food irradiated, the types of irradiation used, and the effects of irradiation on foods.
  • Food Pyramid
    Students develop an understanding that a human body needs food to function properly. Students will identify food categories used in the USDA food pyramid and chart the foods eaten during one day, describing how well they adhere to the food pyramid.
  • Food Science Discovered
    In this project, students will explore the life of a food science innovation through the creation of a product resume. Students will examine the life of an original product, including its discovery or invention, the history of the product, and the product's benefits and limitations.
  • Genes and Our Food
    Genetics can be used to improve the plants and animal we eat.
  • How Sweet It Is!
    In this activity, students will explore functional properties of food ingredients by comparing the structures and functions of natural and artificial sweeteners. *This lesson plan has also been incorporated into the Product Development Competition materials.
  • I Second That Emulsion
    Students explore mixtures and emulsions by making mayonnaise.
  • I'm Eating What?!?
    Students will be introduced to one another, as well as to the field of food science, as they match raw ingredients with finished food products.
  • In The Mix! A Separation Lab
    In this inquiry exercise, students will devise a procedure to separate and quantify the components of a mixture containing sand, salt, and iron filings.
  • Moving Fluid in Plants: Experiments with Celery
    Students will explore the vascular tissue of a celery stalk. The celery stalk serves as a model for the generalized plant. In Part I of the activity, students will use a dye to determine the location of the vascular tissues. In Part II of the activity, they will explore how light influences the rate of movement of water in the vascular tissues.
  • One of These Things Is Not Like the Other
    In this activity, students will explore the principles of sensory evaluation by participating in and analyzing the results of a triangle test. A triangle test is a difference test that is used to determine whether there is a sensory difference between two products. *This lesson plan has also been incorporated into the Product Development Competition materials.
  • From the "Eyes" of an Infectious Pathogenic Agent: The Road to Infection
    This lesson will provide students with knowledge on the various types of pathogens that may invade a human or animal's body and the route that such pathogens taken in order to cause an infection. Students will create a narrative written in first person where they will act as if they are a pathogen (bacterial, viral etc.) and explain how they enter the body, what organ systems they affect, and how they ultimately cause infection in the body.
  • Perfect Package
    In this assignment, students will act as food packaging engineers as they evaluate an existing food package and describe the perfect food package. *This lesson plan has also been incorporated into the Product Development Competition materials.
  • Plant Growth - Response to Light
    By conducting their own experiments with tools that they construct, students will understand the effect of gravitropism on plant growth.
  • Splat!
    In this lab, students will perform the viscosity splat test to measure the relative viscosities of several common food liquids. Using the splat diameter measured during the tests, students will construct a standard curve and use the curve to estimate the viscosity of glycerin.
  • Strawberry DNA Forever
    This lesson plan is for the extraction of DNA from strawberries. Strawberries are an exceptional fruit to use for this lesson because each individual student is able to complete the process by themselves and strawberries yield more DNA than any other fruit (i.e. banana, kiwi, etc.). Strawberries are octoploid, meaning that they have eight copies of each type of chromosome.
  • To Pop or Not to Pop?
    In this laboratory exercise, students will use moisture content measurements to determine why popcorn pops.
  • Tomato...Flavorful or Flavorless?
    In this activity, students will explore the principles of sensory evaluation by participating in and analyzing the results of a consumer acceptability test. *This lesson plan was created as a component of the Product Development Competition materials.
  • What's Happening to My Food? (zip)
    Students will observe and classify physical and chemical changes commonly occurring in foods.

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