Year 12 Biology Coursework; Why Does Raw Turnip Taste Sweeter Than Raw Potato?

3058 words - 12 pages

Problem:In the following experiment I am going to try and determine- "Why does raw turnip taste sweeter than raw potato." I will find this out using osmosis.Background Knowledge:We already know that the average concentration of dissolved sugar in turnip is 0.62M. We found this from a previous class investigation. Using Osmosis, which we were taught last year in school, we can find out if potato contains less sugar than turnip, therefore explaining why turnip is sweeter than potato. If we measure the isotonic of both specimens then we can draw a graph comparing the two, therefore making it a lot more easier to distinguish which has the highest concentration of dissolved sugar.Plant cells have a cell surface membrane. Outside this there is the cellulose cell wall. Inside a plant cell there is a solution of solutes, many of which can be found in the vacuole. In plants water flows through the cell wall and cell surface membrane into the vacuole from the outside. This causes the cell wall to swell up, however the cell does not burst. The cell is now fully turgid.Osmosis- Osmosis is a special type of diffusion. It is the movement of water molecules from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration across a partially permeable membrane.The diagram on the right represents osmosis. The water molecules will diffuse into the cell, where there aren't as many of them. The solute molecules represent the sugar molecules, inside and outside the cell.There are three different types of states a plant cell can be in during Osmosis. They are- Hypertonic, Isotonic, and Hypotonic.Hypertonic-When a plant loses water, it becomes flaccid. This always happens when the plant is put in a high concentrated water solution. The inside of the cell shrinks due to water loss and pulls away from the cell wall.(Plasmolysed)Hypotonic-When the plant is placed in a dilute solution, the cells absorb the water particles. They swell up, and only for the cell wall, they don't burst. This is the complete opposite of flaccid, which is known as Turgid. As pressure begins to build up within the cell, water can't get in. Therefore, Osmosis doesn't work. This, is so the plant can be strong enabling it to keep its shape.Isotonic-This happens when the plant is placed in a solution with the same strength as that contained within the plant's cells. This state is between flaccid and Turgid. Meaning the water particles cross between the plant and solution freely and the cell will have no change.My Prediction-I predict that the turnip will have a lot more sugar then that of the potato. I will plot the isotonic points on a graph and this will allow me to see whether or not my prediction is true. If it is right the turnip's isotonic point will be higher than that of the potato.The Variables-Controlled Variable-This part of the experiment has to be done correctly if I want my results to be fair. If the controlled variables differ then the results cannot be reliable. There are a number of...

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