SCIENCE FAIR BACKGROUND RESEARCH
Sugar science- Measuring sugar in sodas and other beverages.
What is the actual percentage of sugar in our basic sodas and juices?
Everyone is aware that sodas and juices are filled with sugar, but it’s difficult to know just how much is in our drinks by just reading the label printed on them. A way to measure the concentration of sugar in a solution is by finding the density and this is what the hydrometer is used for so basically, the higher the density, the higher the concentration of sugar in the solution. With a hydrometer (an instrument that measures the specific gravity (relative density) of liquids), one can determine correctly the sugar content in these lovely drinks of ours. So basically, a hydrometer is used to measure any solids in a liquid, and being that almost all the dissolved solids in soda are simply sugar, it will be the perfect instrument for this scientific experiment. Operation of the hydrometer is based off Archimedes' principle, which states that a solid suspended in a liquid will float due to a force equal to the weight of the liquid displaced. In other words, a denser solution will make the hydrometer go up higher and float. The scale on the hydrometer goes from 0 to 70, which is the percentage of sugar. So, for example, in the case of water, the hydrometer will sink down to where the scale shows "0" at the level of the liquid surface since there is no sugar in water (the solution). In a solution with 45 percent sugar, the hydrometer will float so that the number 45 is at
the surface of the solution. The food industry refers to the percent sugar as degrees Brix, (°Bx) so a solution with 45 percent is 45Brix, or 45°Bx. Measuring of sugar in drinks is a physics/ chemistry concept that also relates to how sugar is measured in our blood to see how high or low our blood sugar is.
A health- based website called ditchthecarbs.com had one of their members perform this experiment. They made use of different sodas and orange juice for this experiment. After performing the...