Osmosis in Potato Chips

Topics: Concentration / Pages: 13 (3119 words) / Published: Apr 17th, 2001
Biology GCSE Coursework: Osmosis in Potato Chips
Skill Area P: Planning

Aim: To investigate the effect of varying concentration of a certain sugar solution on the amount of osmotic activity between the solution and a potato chip of a given size.

Hypothesis: Osmosis is defined as the net movement of water or any other solution's molecules from a region in which they are highly concentrated to a region in which they are less concentrated. This movement must take place across a partially permeable membrane such as a cell wall, which lets smaller molecules such as water through but does not allow bigger molecules to pass through. The molecules will continue to diffuse until the area in which the molecules are found reaches a state of equilibrium, meaning that the molecules are randomly distributed throughout an object, with no area having a higher or lower concentration than any other.

For this particular investigation I think that the lower the concentration of the sugar solution in the test tube the larger the mass of the potato will be. This is because the water molecules pass from a high concentration, i.e. In the water itself, to a low concentration, i.e. In the potato chip. Therefore, the chips in higher water concentrations will have a larger mass than in higher sugar concentrations.

The graph above shows a simple curve obtained when the concentration of the solution is plotted against the percentage change in mass.

 At point A the graph tells the viewer that no osmosis has occurred, suggesting that the concentration of water inside the cell is equal to the solution outside.

 At point B (high water concentration), there is no indication that the cell is increasing further in size. This is because the cell is fully turgid and no more water can enter.

 At point C (low water concentrations), there is no indication that the cell is decreasing further in size. This is because the cell is fully plasmolysed and no

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