Experiment: Cooked vs. raw food reacting with H2O2
Name: Carol M Uhl
Hello. I am assisting someone with a science project and we had a few questions.
The experiment was to find the different levels of protein in cooked vs. raw food.
The experiment took raw meat and vegetables and added H2O2 to them and watched
the reaction. We were wondering
1. What is the by-product of the reactions? (we think water and oxygen)
2. What is it that is causing the reaction?
3. What is actually proved?
4. How could we measure the reaction?
We would appreciate any help you could give!
You are correct that water and oxygen are produced. This is
accomplished by the action of at least two distinct molecules called enzymes.
One of the enzymes is catalase and it is able to join two peroxide molecules
together and then split them apart as water and oxygen. The other major
enzyme is peroxidase and is able to add hydrogen from another molecule
to the peroxide to form two molecules of water. These enzymes
are destroyed by cooking. One way to measure the reaction would be
to capture the oxygen and measure the rate of its accumulation as an
estimate of the rate of peroxide degradation but, this would not account
for action of peroxidase. Keep on using Newton!
Michael B Lomonaco
Click here to return to the Biology Archives
Update: June 2012