Identifying Macromolecules in Common Foods

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Abstract:

We tested five common food items to determine which macromolecules were present. We tested for the macromolecules of simple and complex carbohydrates (sugars and starch), lipids, and proteins. The foods tested were coconut milk, karo syrup, potato chips, peanut butter, and banana baby food. We hypothesized that coconut milk would contain all four types of macromolecules, karo syrup would only contain simple sugars which are monosaccharides and/or disaccharides, potato chips would contain starches and fats, peanut butter would contain sugars, fats, and proteins, and banana baby food would consist of sugars and starch. Each macromolecule test consisted of five test tubes of the food item individually diluted into solutions for reacting each with Benedict's reagent to show the presence of sugar, IK2I for starch presence, and Buiret's reagent for protein presence. A simple paper test was used evaluting lipid existence for each food. Our results confirmed our estimations of the foods' compounds. The testing results verified that coconut milk contained all four types of macromolecules, karo syrup contain only simple sugars, potato chips were starches and fats, peanut butter contained sugars, fats, and proteins, and banana baby food consisted of sugars and starches.

Introduction:

Identifying macromolecules in the foods we eat is essential in comprising a healthy well-rounded diet ensuring our nutritional needs for cellular processes in the human body. The largest biological molecules are known as carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Carbohydrates are compounds of monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides known as sugars and starches. Lipids, known as fats, are storage molecules in animals and plants. Proteins bind to other molecules performing key roles in DNA and RNA functions.

Five different food items were tested for the presence of specific macromolecules identified as sugars, starch, lipids, and proteins. The food items



References: Cited: I. Molecular Biology Initiative. Georgia Southern University, GA. http://cosm.georgiasouthern.edu/biology/mbi/activities/Macromolecules %20in %20food/Macromolecules%20in%20food%20activity.pdf. Accessed February 11, 2013. II. Pearson Learning Solutions. "Macromolecules," in The Pearson Custom Library for the Biological Sciences. Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2012, pp. 69-87. III. Science and Health Education Partnership, SEP Lessons. University of California San Francisco. http://seplessons.ucsf.edu/node/362. Accessed February 11, 2013. IV. S.E. Hill, D.A. Ledward, and J.R. Mitchell. Functional Properties of Food Macromolecules, Second Edition. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishing, 1998.

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