Too Sour

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By May Grace Betz and Nadia Slivinski

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Abstract

In doing this project, our purpose was to reveal the mystery of acidity and sourness. We wanted to figure out why different people have different opinions on what is sour, and what is not. Throughout our research, it became difficult to find the correct answer. We thought that people would stop fairly early, but most of them wanted more cups! What we did to find our answer was sort of like a survey. We each aimed to test a certain number of people with malic acid, to see their responses. this was a good idea, and could have been much more helpful, if we could have tested more people. Overall, I think we had a good topic, and good questions.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyT2FuZEklMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Object and Inquiry

In today’s experiment we are discussing acidity and sourness. Sourness can be displayed many ways and what we are inquiring is, what does a common human person consider to be too sour? We are hoping to find this answer by testing individuals with water and different amounts of malic acid and asking them questions in order to narrow our research. These individuals will go from cup to cup and tell us at what point the water becomes too sour. We think that this will answer our question.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyVG9ySCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRmElM0U=[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]

Thesis/ Hypothesis

We think that most people will stop at cup #4. We think this because that is a lot of malic acid for one cup![/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUldVJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Research Write Up

May Grace: My prior knowledge on this subject is that human people have many different opinions, and in order to find a general answer, you need to test a lot of people. I know that a lot of individuals would stop at lemon juice, while other will go all the way to toxic waste or, (more bitter than sour), vinegar. But I also know that the human person can only take so much, and I think we will get good results on our project.

Nadia Slivinski : Prior Knowledge
Each person we test on will have a different opinion because some humans do not have very sensitive taste buds, and some do. There could be seven cups the seventh is very sour first is just water anyone could pick 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and seven.

Research Write Up
When we first started this project, we had some questions. We decided to take some extra time to really go deep into our research in order to answer these questions. We mostly used to science-journal-based, this was one sign that they were reliable. One of our questions was about what malic acid was made of, we got our answers from sciencedirect.com, thechemco.com, sciencing.com, and many others.
Since our experiment can likely begin to be opinionated, we need to make sure that we take the right research and collect all the data. Since this is true our question is pretty broad, but not quite as broad as we would like it to be. To change this, we need to change our point of view, change how we read our research and look at/collect our data.
When researching this project, it is important to find the right sources and read only bits of information at time. This can help us to narrow our research and find the right answers.
We feel that our question is very entertainable and fun to talk about. We know that we are having fun answering this question, and we feel that since we really want to know the answer, it will help us with excitement and interest.
The nature of our object is very hard to specify, but in this scenario the nature of a human, is to taste.
We know that we will need some very specific materials, like the measurement of malic acid in water, malic acid powder itself, water, human volunteers, and so on. These will be important to know as we move on into our experiment, because we may need to alter or change them depending on what we need to carry out the experiment.
Our ongoing research has shown us that this experiment has not been done before according to the public. When we tried to research this, we got page after page of what malic acid is, and what it does, and what it is for; which is helpful for other things but didn’t answer our question.
throughout our research we have discovered many new things about our project. We hope that using this research, we can do our experiment, and answer our question.

Refined Knowledge & Questions
After looking further into our project, we had a few more questions. We scoured the internet and read a few books to find these.
Why can some people go farther than others?
Through some of our research, we found a varying number of answers including genetics, personality, culture, and more. This leads us to wonder still what the real answer is.
Why do we cringe when we consume something sour?
When we cringe, we are showing disgust or distaste. This is why when we eat something sour, and it doesn’t acquire our usual taste, it can make us cringe.
We didn’t have any further questions.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyVGFuZE0lMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tools and Materials

  • Malic acid crystals
  • Paper
  • Water
  • Pencil
  • Computer
  • Cups
  • Science fair packet (information)
  • Journal
  • Printer
  • Human volunteers
  • Lemon juice
  • Independent variable: the amount of malic acid powder in each cup.
  • Dependent variables: people’s perception of sourness.
  • Control: water.

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Procedure and Data

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Journal

May Grace’s Journal:
March 9-14, 2020
Today I did not test anyone for my experiment.
March 15, 2020
Today I tested myself.
March 16- April 3, 2020
Today I did not test anyone for my experiment.
April 4, 2020
Today I tested my little brother and my mom.
April 5-18, 2020
Today I did not test anyone for my experiment.
April 19, 2020
Today I tested my sister.
April 20, 2020
Today I tested my uncle.
April 21-23, 2020
Today I tested my sister.
April 24- May 01, 2020
Today I did not test anyone for my experiment

Nadia’s Journal:
March 9-12: today I did not test anyone
March 12-14-today I did not test anyone for my experiment
March 14-17-today (15) I tested my sister (Mackenzie)
March 17-21:today (20) I tested my dad (Stephan)
March 21-27-today I tested my brother and sister (24) (Eric and Natalie)
March 27-3: today (1) I tested my mom (Megan)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUHJvJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Procedure

This experiment is simple. First, get your Malic acid powder and some volunteers. Put the assigned measurements for each cup in the correct cup. (ex. Cup #2- a pinch of malic acid). Have your volunteers taste cup #1 first and ask them a few questions like, “On a scale of 1-10 how sour was that for you?”, and, “how much more sour do you think you can take?”. continue this process as you go further in your additions of malic acid powder. Record your volunteers’ answers for each cup. As you go, day-by-day, record what you did that day in your journal. When you have tested 40 people, (in all) make a graph to see which cup the majority of the people stopped at. Since we had to do most of the project separately, we have two journals.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyRGFuZEElMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Data and Analysis

 

Cup Measurements
#1- water
#2- a pinch
#3- 1/8 teaspoon
#4- ¼ teaspoon
#5- ½ teaspoon

Data Analysis
We were shocked and amazed by our results. We loved looking at all the data and made some interesting discoveries. One of which was that the age of the person matters. For example, both people that stopped at cup four are ten years old and in fourth grade. This was a fascinating point of discovery.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyUmFuZEMlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Results and Conclusion

this experiment turned out to be pretty close to our hypothesis, though not exactly positive, and it surprised us when most people went past cup #4. Due to COVID-19, we did not get all forty people tested, so hope to continue and find more concise results.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIySWFuZFIlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZhJTNF[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Insights and Reflections

We feel that this project went smoothly, and we know that we had fun. Even though it was a difficult transition, due to COVID-19. We hope to get better results in the future. We learned many things about acidity, sourness, and of course how far people will go when it comes to strong food. We did not have much time to work together, but we appreciate everything Mr. Okimoto did to make it smooth sailing.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGlkJTNEJTIyQmliJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Bibliography

The Chemical Company. 2020. Malic Acid – The Chemical Company. []
Merriam-webster.com. 2020. Definition of MALIC ACID. []
Buddies, S., 2020. Sour Science: Do Sour Taste Preferences Change with Age? [] Scientific American.
Roberts-Grey, G., 2020. 9 Ways Personality Influences Your Taste Preferences. [] MSN.

We found that these sources were reliable by reading them and seeing if any of the information matched.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”black” el_width=”80″ css_animation=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]