Betalin - Beetroot

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Why does belatin leak out of cooked Beetroot?

In cooked beetroot, the water or food would become stained due to its leakage of betalin (the redish-purple pigment). Betalin is found in the vacuole of beetroot cell. The leakage may have been caused by something happening in the cell membrane of the beetroot – concerning the proteins embedded in the phospholipid layer. The study will require the experiment of different temperatures of water and to find out which in temperature causes the most leakage of the pigment and why it does this.

Introduction
The study can contribute to biology as can tell us how the cell membrane structure works and the durability of the membrane. It can contribute to medical units to help us treat illnesses as the cell membrane is where chemicals reactions happen. The cell membrane also acts as an immunity marker to the immune system – recognising that the cell isn’t a foreign body. The cell membrane is also a place where transport movements of molecules and substances enter and exit the cell. These can happen by diffusion, osmosis, active transport and facilitated diffusion. This behaviour is what keeps the cell alive and sustained but also, maintain our body functions.

Aim
The aim is to use beetroot to examine the effect of temperature on cell membranes to relate the effects observed to membrane structure. To function correctly, a cell needs to be able to control transport across the partially permeable membrane. [1]

Hypothesis
The hypothesis for the study is that high temperature will make more betalin leak out of the beetroot than the colder tempertures. This is because the hot water may denature some components in the phospholipid layer of the cell membrane and disrupt the transport movement of the molecules.

Variables
Independent Variable
* Temperature of water
The temperature of the water is the only thing that should change in this experiment as we are testing how different temperatures affect the membrane of the beetroot.

Dependant Variable
* Surface Area of beetroot
The surface area of the beetroot pieces MUST stay the same. This is because if the pieces were all different sizes, some of the pigment would be released faster than the other pieces. This would affect the results later on. * Volume of water

To keep the water is the same in every beaker to eliminate any change of the pigment becoming too concentrated. If one beaker has less water than the others, that beaker would become more concentrated than the others – affecting results on the colorimeter. * Time left in incubation

Each piece of beetroot is kept incubated exactly at the same time in order to eliminate inconstancy of results from occurring in vary lengths of exposure to water. [2]

Equipment
* Measuring Cylinder – to measure the amount of water for the boiling tubes * 1cm2 Cork Borer – To cut out the same surface area for each beetroot cube * White Tile – To protect surfaces from staining with excess betalin * Knife – to cut the beetroot with

* Ruler – to measure the length of the cut pieces.
* Waterbaths – 0○c, 10○c, 20○c, 30○c, 40○c, 50○c, 60○c, 70○c [Desired Temperature] * 8 Boiling tubes – to put the water and beetroot in
* Crushed ice – to keep one of the desired water temperatures at 10○c or less * Plastic Beaker 250cm3 – the beaker is to be filled with distilled water so any beetroot betalin would be rinsed off. * Thermometer – to measure the water temperature

* Colorimeter – to measure the percentage of absorbance of the betalin * Cuvettes – to be placed inside the colorimeter to be calibrated and to put the water/betalin solution in. * Boiling tube racks

Risk Assessment
* Cutting – Using a knife increases the risk of injury. This is reduced by the instructor explaining how to handle the knife properly. * Cork Borer – when using a cork borer, some on the pigment may spit into eyes or stain on clothes. This can be avoided...
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