Nutrition lab

Pre-Lab Questions

  1. How do the intake of nutrients and expenditure of energy relate to a metabolic level?
  2. Do you think you take in more calories than you burn in a day?
  3. Diet and nutrition are closely linked to the study of biomolecules. How should you monitor your food intake to ensure the cells in your body have the materials necessary to function?



Experiment 1: Measuring the Caloric Content of Food

Data Sheet

Table 1: Calorie Testing

  Mass of Cracker in Food Holder (g) Water Temperature ˚C


Post-Lab Questions

  1. Calculate the thermal energy in the burnt cracker based on the following information:

Where Q = thermal energy (in calories), m = mass of water (grams), c = specific heat of water, and ΔT = the change in temperature (in Celsius). *In this instance, the mass of the water is 100g and the specific heat of water is 1 cal/gram ˚C.*

  1. On nutritional labels, the calories listed are actually kilocalories. Convert the calories calculated in Question 1 into kilocalories, also referred to as nutrition Calories (C).
  2. Calculate the number of kilocalories released per gram of cracker. Show your work.
  3. Calculate percent error between your results and the listed nutritional information: 5 C/g. Is there any difference? What do you think could account for this difference?
  4. Based on the design of the experiment and on your percent error, is there a way you could perform this experiment that would produce a more accurate result? What would you need to change and what additional materials, if any, would you need to achieve the desired result?



Experiment 2: Testing for Glucose in Milk Sources

Data Sheet

Table 2: Testing for Lactose in Samples

Sample 1st round Glucose concentration (mg/dL) 2nd round Glucose concentration (mg/dL)
1 – Water    
2 – Lactose Free Milk    
3 –  Powdered Milk    


Post-Lab Questions

  1. How was the glucose concentration in each sample affected by the addition of the unknown powder?
  2. What can you conclude about the unknown powder based on your observations?
  3. How do your observations relate to nutrition?
  4. What are the positive and negative controls in this experiment?
  5. How do the findings of this experiment relate to lactose intolerance?
  6. Use online resources to look up and describe lactose intolerance. What causes it? What are the symptoms? Consult your professor for website guidelines and proper citation.
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