Potato chip scientific research is large business! The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) go some very important tests so the the food you eat—including potato chips—is that s right labeled. We might not have accessibility to the FDA’s expensive machines, but we have the right to still carry out some quite cool tests there is no them.

You are watching: How much grease is in potato chips

For this scientific research fair project, let’s i think you’re a scientist functioning for the FDA and that you have to double-check the fat content (or “greasiness”) of number of brands of potato chips. If you don’t have actually any specialized machines, then how do you find out just how much grease your chips have?

One thing we could shot is to simply mash increase a potato chip and look at how much grease come out. Record absorbs grease yes, really well, therefore we deserve to use it as our “instrument” to help us quantify—or find a number the describes—how much grease is in an separation, personal, instance chip.

But wait a minute. Not all potato chips space the same size! even chips native the same bag come in various sizes, and of course, various brands usually make in different way sized chips. If us were to test a really big chip, we would get much more grease than if us tested a little one, and also this certainly wouldn’t describe how lot grease is in a solitary serving the chips very well. For this reason what’s a good way come determine just how much grease is in your potato chips?

We deserve to calculate a beneficial number recognized as one average to define how lot grease we have actually in ours chips. Us can discover the mean by including together every one of the grease we discover divided by the number of chips we offered to gain that lot grease.


How greasy are different brands of potato chips?


Several bags the potato chips (different brands)Something to write withRolling PinWax Paper, plastic wrap, or large sandwich bagGraph paperTapeWindowSunlight


Find the serving dimension listed in the nutrition facts because that each brand that chips.Write under the serving dimension for every brand. If we’re do the efforts to identify if a offer of one brand that chips is greasier than another, why do you think recording the serving dimension for every brand the chip is important?Find the total fat per serving for each brand the chips, in grams. Document this number.Pick a brand the chips. Count out a number of chips same to the serving size for that brand. Make certain to pull chips randomly native the bag. Don’t pick large or little ones, specifically. If we want to take specific average, why perform you think this is important?Place the chips ~ above a paper of graph paper. Record the quantity of chips friend pulled the end for this brand the chips.Lay the wax paper, plastic wrap, or large sandwich bag end the chips.Use this time come formulate her hypothesis. Which brand that chips carry out you think will be the greasiest? Roll over the chips numerous times v the rolling pin, making sure they’re totally pulverized.Remove the graph record and litter away the chips. Tape the graph file to a window (or the surface ar of your school’s overhead projector, if friend have accessibility to one).Count the variety of squares that room translucent native the grease. (Hint: make a inspect mark in each square you’re counting. You deserve to use a pencil, pen, or grease pencil if you’re marking the graph file itself. If you’re using an overhead projector, you can use a dry-erase mite to mark squares projected top top the whiteboard.) only count squares that are ½ full or more. Record the variety of squares you counting for this brand.


Repeat steps 4-10 for each brand.The average grease per serving size is just the amount of squares girlfriend counted for each brand. To calculate the typical grease every chip, division squares count by the variety of chips tested. Record this number for all brands in her data chart.Draw a graph like the one listed below comparing the detailed fat worth per serving because that each brand the chips and the variety of squares girlfriend counted as soon as you did the experiment. Does the data surprised you, or is it what girlfriend expected? What does the suggest about the accuracy of your measurements?



Your results should roughly reflect the lot of fat listed in the nutrition facts because that each brand of chips.


Here’s another method to think around how averages work: because we got hold of a huge handful that chips without looking, we acquired some chips that were big, some that were small, and also some the were medium in size. Since we have a lot of differently-sized chips to average together, we have the right to say that any type of given chip is “about this big.” If we only had actually two chips it would certainly be difficult to choose which one is the closest come the “normal” size, however if we had actually a the majority of them it would certainly be pretty simple to discover one good, typical size that describes them all pretty well. This is a basic example of the Law of big Numbers: the much more things us test (and the much more times us test them), the more accurate ours calculated typical will be.

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Scientists usage averages all the time, since the human being often doesn’t behave consistently enough to provide us exactly the same number every time we execute an experiment. Gas mileage, nutrition facts, institution grades, and also even things like radiation flux because that spaceships are all based turn off of averages. Averages room a means to find numbers that are “characteristic” of a instance or sample, meaning that this numbers closely describe the situation, also if us can’t constantly predict the exact number us will acquire each time we do an experiment!

So what various other factors might have influenced our results? us made sure to pulverize every chip so the it released many of that grease, however if your results didn’t enhance up through what to be on the bag, it might be because particular chips release grease much better than others as soon as crushed. If friend want, you can repeat this experiment and also crush every chip also more. Watch if your outcomes change, and also take keep in mind of this in her write-up for your project.

There are numerous ways to increase this experiment. What if we tried to number out exactly how greasy a given brand that chips was by weight, together opposed to offer size? This is a advantageous thing to measure, due to the fact that some offer sizes might be larger or smaller than others. We can calculate this measure by separating the quantity of squares we counted by the number of grams that make up a serving size. We might even obtain a more accurate measure of greasiness by making use of a food range to measure the end grams, rather than counting the FDA’s estimated amount the chips that consist of a serving size. Remember, the FDA calculated this number by acquisition an average! This experiment could even be broadened to test just how accurate the FDA’s almost right serving sizes are. Have the right to you design an experiment to investigate this utilizing a food scale?

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