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Did you know that certain fruits have enzymes that when mixed with gelatin they prevent it from setting? We had to try it out, of course! So, read on to learn how to do this fruit enzymes gelatin experiment!
How to Do the Fruit Enzymes Gelatin Experiment:
You need gelatin, fruit, and several bowls. You can use plain or flavored gelatin for this project. We made ours with plain gelatin. Choose the fruits you want to test. We did ours with pineapple, orange, strawberry and kiwi. Then we left one without fruit as the control.
Make the gelatin according to the package directions. Add the fruit into the different bowls. I made 5 separate ones using petri dishes. Divide the gelatin among the bowls. Refrigerate for a few hours to set. Let your kids hypothesize.
Results of Our Fruit Enzyme Gelatin Experiment:
I knew for certain that fresh pineapple contained a specific enzyme that caused the gelatin to not set, so I used fresh pineapple. The other fruits I was not sure about and tried out a few that we had on hand. Our strawberry and orange gelatins were solid and our pineapple and kiwi gelatins were still liquid.
FUN FACT: Pineapples are bromeliads which are spiky plants that grow on the ground. They contain a protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain is used as a meat tenderizer.
Gelatin is made out of animal proteins. When you add water to the gelatin, long chains of protein form. Water gets trapped in the middle of these long chains, and turns the liquid into a semi-solid. Since the enzyme bromelain digests proteins, it eats away at the gelatin. The protein chains collapse, making everything watery again.
In the process of this experiment I did some studying and also learned that papaya, mango, guava, ginger, kiwi and figs also contain protein-digesting enzymes. Isn’t that interesting? They will also prevent gelatin from setting up. Our kiwi gelatin followed the same pattern as the pineapple and did not set up!
This is week 2 of the 28 Days of STEAM Projects for Kids series hosted by Left Brain Craft Brain. This week’s theme is Science Projects. Stop by her site to see what the other participating bloggers shared!
Last week I shared my post on STEAM Printables with my Lock and Key Addition Puzzles.