4. Discussion

Analysis of results


After 85 stirs, the strength of the gelatin produced remains the same. For the water-powder ratio, even though there was only a change of 5 grams, the strength increase of the gelatin produced was steep and unexpected.

Key Findings:

The more the mixture is stirred the stronger the gelatin produced is

The more powder used in the mixture, the stronger the gelatin produced is.

So what could have caused these results?

Our explanations are:


1) The more you stir, the more surface area is exposed to the hot water and allows it to break the weak bonds that hold the gelatin together faster. Since more of the gelatin strands are broken, there are more free-floating protein chains when it is refrigerated. These chains will form into the tight helix structure. Since there is more mass, more water is soaked up and thus there are less gaps in the helix. The 'net' is much tighter and thus it is stronger.

This explains why the mixture with the highest number of stirs, 100, is tied with the mixture with 85 stirs for the highest crushing weights out of the three mixtures used to test the stirring at 350g.

2)When there is more gelatin powder in the mixture, there are more free-floating protein chains that are present when the mixture is exposed to the hot water. The mass of the triple helix structure is thus larger and soaks up more water. Just like in the first explanation, the 'net' is much tighter and thus it is stronger.

It also explains why the mixture with a ratio of 30g of gelatin powder:150ml of water has the highest crushing weight of the three mixtures used to test the powder:water ratio at 900g.

Evaluation of Hypothesis:


Our hypothesis was completely different from our results. We predicted that as the number of times the mixture is stirred increases, the weaker the gelatin produced is and the more powder used in the mixture, the weaker the gelatin produced is. Our results, however, showed that the more the mixture is stirred the stronger the gelatin produced is and the more powder used in the mixture, the stronger the gelatin produced is.

Areas For Improvement:

1) We could have repeated the testing for each factor multiple times, then use the average of all the data collected from each test as it will be more accurate.

2) We could have used a brush to ensure more of the gelatin powder is swept off the plate used to weight the powder and into the beaker, as some of the gelatin powder was stuck on the plate and not all of it was mixed in the water.

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