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B.4 Carbohydrates


Here are experiments our science specialists have selected to support the IB* topic.

Investigating the Energy Content of Foods

Experiment #6 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry

In the Preliminary Activity, you will determine the energy content of a peanut. You will first use the energy from a burning peanut to heat a known quantity of water. By monitoring the temperature of the water, you can find the amount of heat transferred to it (in kJ), using the formula

q = {C_p} \cdot m \cdot \Delta t

where q is heat, Cp is the specific heat capacity of water, m is the mass of water, and Δt is the change in temperature of the water. Finally, the amount of peanut burned will be taken into account by calculating the heat per gram of peanut consumed in the combustion.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about calorimetry, food, and food energy sources before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with the energy content of food.

Educational Standard
International Baccalaureate (IB)
B. Biochemistry

* The IB Diploma Program is an official program of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) which authorizes schools to offer it. The material available here has been developed independently of the IBO and is not endorsed by it.