November 22nd, 2019

Praxis: Something to tickle your taste buds

By Patty Rooks on July 6, 2019.

praxis@praxismh.ca@PraxisMedHat

I know that once we get into the routine of summer vacation we are looking for activities to do and perhaps even make a bit of money. This week, I thought we would investigate how you could mix up that traditional lemonade stand by adding a bit of science! Let’s get started!

*Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.

Materials

– four different flavoured and coloured powdered drink mixes

– four containers to mix the drinks in

– measuring cups

– measuring spoons

– water

– clear drinking cups

– food colouring

– science helper

Procedure

1. Mix the four different drink mixes in four different containers according to the instructions on the package.

2. Place five clear cups on the counter. Measure and pour 60 mL (1/4 cup) of mixed drink into each of the four cups and water into the fifth cup.

3. Add a few drops of food colouring to the water.

4. Have the science helper test the first drink. What flavour is it? Repeat for all of the cups.

What is going on?

The science helper should have been fooled by the unflavoured but coloured drink. A likely answer was that it is a flavour they already tasted. This happens because often time’s vision can affect how we taste something. We become familiar with colours and even smells associated with certain foods so when we look at something we often think we know how it will taste. There is an interesting connection between this and you could try experimenting with different foods – try green eggs, or purple noodles. It’s fun to see what people think these bizarre colour combinations taste like.

Patty Rooks, Senior Scientific Consultant PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community”. Contact Praxis at praxis@praxismh.ca, http://www.praxismh.ca, Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedHat, or friend us on Facebook. NOTE our NEW address: #12 826 11 Street S. E., Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 1T7 Phone: 403-527-5365, email: praxis@praxismh.ca.

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