Last Updated 03 Sep 2020

Caloric Content of Food Analysis

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Ocean County College Department of Chemistry [Caloric Content of Food] Submitted by Jamie Kaiser Date Submitted:   10/2/12 Date Performed:  10/2/12 Lab Section: Chem-180 Course Instructor: Bassa Purpose The purpose of the experiment was to take foods and to find out the energy content of the foods that we are experimenting with. By hands on burning or the food and taking the date that we find and putting it into equations to find what is needed. Procedure After organizing all the equipment necessary to perform the lab correctly and safety, I placed the empty beaker on to the scale and recorded the weight.

Then I filled the beaker with 50 ml of water and measured it and recorded my results. I then place the beaker onto the burner stand. I took the temperature of the water before heating it up. I first started with the marshmallow. I put the marshmallow onto the fork and measured its weight. Then I lit the marshmallow on fire and place it under the beaker. After the flame was extinguished I measure the temperature of the water and recorded it. I then place the remains of the marshmallow and fork onto the scale and recorded my findings. I proceeded to do the same thing with a walnut and then with a potato trip and recording the results of each.

Conclusions From the hands on experience of doing this experiment, I have been able to better understand the formula to find the energy release per gram and to properly put the information into the equation. I now have a better understanding of calorimetry and how different products vary in caloric content.

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Hands-On Labs, Inc. (2012). General College Chemistry : Physical and Chemical Properties. (Manual page 94-100)


  1. Which of the foods tested contains the most energy per gram? The potato chip
  2. How do your experimental results compare to published values?
  3. Considering the only published value that I experimented with was the marshmallow, I would have to say my results were above average.
  4. What type of reaction is used in calorimetry? Combustion reaction
  5. What are the products of the reactions? Carbon dioxide and water
  6. Where did the products go? Into the air, a part of the atmosphere

A student performing an experiment to determine the caloric content of a cashew nut collected the following data: ?Mass of cashew nut before burning: 0. 55 g ?After burning: 0. 05 g ?Temp. increase of 200 g of water: 7. 0 oC 1.

Calculate the total energy released by the combustion of the cashew nut by using the water temp. increase, the mass of the water and specific heat capacity of water. 58576 Joules. Using the equation Q= delta t x m x cp 2. Calculate the energy released per gram of cashew nut consumed in the reaction. 58576 Joules/0. 55g = 106502/4. 184= 25455= 2. 5 Cal. Using the following standards (carbohydrates (4 Cal/g), protein (4 Cal/g), and fats 9 Cal/g), determine the caloric content of a bag of your favorite snack food. Special K cracker chips Carb = 92 Protein= 8 Fats = 22. 5

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