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Moles of Food (25 Favorites)

LAB in Mole Concept, Dimensional Analysis. Last updated May 30, 2017.


Summary

In this lab, students will analyze the nutrition label of a variety of foods to find the amount of specific elements in each serving. Students are asked to evaluate and compare the data in a series of questions, in order to convert the values to moles. This lab gives students the opportunity to see the connection between the chemistry mole concept and everyday foods.

Grade Level

High school

Objectives

By the end of this lab, students should be able to

  • Calculate the amount of a particular element in a given food by analyzing the label.
  • Convert between values of mass and volume.
  • Convert values of mass to moles.
  • Recognize that common elements are part of everyday foods.

Chemistry Topics

This lab supports students’ understanding of

  • Mole Concept
  • Dimensional Analysis
  • Unit Conversion

Time

Teacher Preparation: 30 minutes (collect materials)

Lesson: 45 minutes

Materials

Per group

  • cereal box
  • can of vegetables
  • can of fruit
  • box of juice
  • can of tomato juice
  • other food items containing sodium and
  • potassium can be used/substituted
  • calculator
  • periodic table
File

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
  • Students should wash their hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
  • When students complete the lab, instruct them how to clean up their materials and dispose of any chemicals.
  • Food in the lab should be considered a chemical not for consumption.

Teacher Notes

  • Other food products can be substituted for the ones mentioned in this lab.
  • Encourage students to show their work for the calculation portion and use dimensional analysis to solve the problems.
  • As an extension to this lab, I cut off and copy a label from a multivitamin and assign each student an element and have them determine how many tablets it takes to make a mole and how many atoms are in one tablet.

For the Student

Lesson

Objective
Your objective in this lab is to determine the amount of a food item that will provide you with one mole of sodium and the amount that will provide you with one mole of potassium. You will find the amount in grams for each and the amount in mL for each.

Materials

  • cereal box
  • can of vegetables
  • can of fruit
  • box of juice
  • can of tomato juice

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
  • Follow the teacher’s instructions for cleanup of materials and disposal of chemicals.
  • Food in the lab should be considered a chemical not for consumption.

Procedure

  1. Record the type of food you have been given in the data table below.
  2. Analyze the serving data on each food container.
  3. Determine the amount of Sodium (Na) in each serving and the amount of Potassium (K) in each serving. Record the amount of each in the data table below.
  4. You will need to know the mass in grams of one serving and the volume in mL of one serving. Show all of your calculations in the space below.
Type of Food Amount of Na Amount of K Serving Size
Helpful conversions:
1 cup = 236 mL
Density of the juice drink = 1 g/mL
Density of the tomato juice = 1.007 g/mL
Calculations

Analysis

  1. What food item will provide 1 mole of sodium in the least volume? What is that volume?
  2. What food item will provide 1 mole of sodium in the least mass? What is that mass?
  3. What food item will provide 1 mole of potassium with the least volume? What is that volume?
  4. What food item will provide 1 mole of potassium with the least mass? What is that mass?
  5. What food item will provide a minimum of 1 mole of both sodium and potassium with the least volume? What is that volume?
  6. What food item will provide a minimum of 1 mole of both sodium and potassium with the least mass? What is that mass?