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# Mohamad Syahmi bin Mohd Hothzani

M13F
TOPIC 6.1 DIGESTION
EXPERIMENT ANALYSIS OF VITAMIN C IN FRUITS / VEGETABLES BY USING
THE DCPIP TEST
Introduction:
Vitamins are micronutrients, which means that they only required in only small
amounts by the body. It is to maintain health and well-being. An example of vitamins is
Vitamin C. It is also known as ascorbic acid. It plays role in cell division, in in cell wall
synthesis an in inhibition of dangerous compounds like hydrogen peroxide.
This experiment is done to analyse samples of materials for the amount of ascorbic
acid in each of those samples. The indicator used will be the dichlorophenolindophenol
(DCPIP) solution. The reaction between DCPIP solution and the solution containing the
sample extract will determine the amount of Vitamin C available in that particular sample.

Aim:
To investigate the relationship between the types of food sample, which are cabbage, onion
and pineapple, and also the concentration of Vitamin C in the food sample.

Hypothesis:
If a food sample requires less volume of solution to cause a permanent colour change of
DCPIP solution, then the food sample has a greater concentration of Vitamin C.

Variables:
Units Method to control
Independent variable
The type of food
sample
-
For a sample of ascorbic acid
solution, prepare it by taking a
certain volume from its
container and put it in a clean
burette.
For sample of cabbage, grind 10
g of its flesh and mix it with
distilled water, then filter the
mixture to get 50 cm
3
of a clear
solution.
For sample of onion, grind 10 g
of its flesh and mix it with
distilled water, then filter the
mixture to get 50 cm
3
of a clear
solution.
For sample of pineapple, grind
10 g of its flesh and mix it with
distilled water, then filter the
mixture to get 50 cm
3
of a clear
solution.
Dependent variable
The concentration of
Vitamin C in the
food sample
mg cm
-3

Calculate and record the
concentration of Vitamin C in
the food sample by using the
formula:
0.05 50
10
50
n

,
where n is the average volume
of the food sample solution
needed to decolourise DCPIP
solution.
Constant variables
The type of indicator
used
-
Use the same type of indicator
to detect the presence of
Vitamin C in the food samples,
which is DCPIP solution.
The volume of
DCPIP solution used
cm
3

Fix the same volume of the
DCPIP solution used, which is 1
cm
3
.
The concentration of
DCPIP solution
%
Fix the same concentration of
DCPIP solution for all sets,
which is 1%.
The mass of food
sample taken
g
Use the same mass of 10 g for
all food samples by using a
balance.
The initial volume of
extract taken
cm
3

Ensure that all volumes of
extract are fixed to 50 cm
3
by
using filter funnel.

Materials:
Material Volume Concentration Mass
DCPIP solution 100 cm
3
1% -
Vitamin C solution
(Ascorbic acid)
10 cm
3
1% -
Distilled water - - -
Pineapple - - 10 g
Cabbage - - 10 g
Yellow onion - - 10 g

Apparatus:
Apparatus Quantity Uncertainty
50 cm
3
burette with stand 1 0.5 cm
3

50 cm
3
400 cm
3
beaker 1 -
100 cm
3
beaker 5 -
Tissue paper 1 roll -
10 cm
3
measuring cylinder 1 0.1 cm
3

Analytical balance 1 0.01 g
Mortar and pestle 1 -
Glass rod 1 -
Filter funnel 1 -
Filter paper 3 -
Knife 1 -
Dropper 1 -
Chopping board 1 -
Forceps 1 -

Procedure:
1. Grind up 10 g of fruit and mix it with 50 cm
3
of water.
2. Filter the plant macerate to provide 50 cm
3
of a clear solution, then use this plant
extract solution for titration.
3. Clean, rinse, and fill a burette with 1% Vitamin C solution and take an initial burette
4. Transfer 1 cm
3
of 1% DCPIP solution into a conical flask, and place the flask beneath
the burette.
5. Add Vitamin C solution drop by drop to the DCPIP solution, and shake the conical
flask gently after adding each drop, until the DCPIP solution changes to colourless.
6. Record the volume of the Vitamin C solution used.
7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 and calculate the average volume used.
8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 with the plant extract solution.
9. Calculate the concentration of Vitamin C in each of the plant extract solution.

Data collection:
Qualitative data
1. For cabbage extract, the DCPIP solution changes its colour from dark blue to
colourless.
2. For onion extract, the DCPIP solution changes colour from dark blue to light purple.
3. For pineapple extract, the DCPIP solution changes colour from dark blue to light red.

Quantitative data
Sample name
3
(0.05)
Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5 Trial 6
Initial Final Initial Final Initial Final Initial Final Initial Final Initial Final
Ascorbic acid 40.00 41.00 27.00 27.70 45.00 46.00 32.00 32.60 43.00 43.10 38.00 38.20
Cabbage 26.50 31.00 31.00 35.50 35.50 39.00 6.00 12.90 13.00 19.80 29.00 35.50
Onion 23.50 25.50 25.50 28.60 28.60 31.00 37.80 42.90 41.30 45.00 45.00 49.30
Pineapple 0.00 11.00 11.00 25.00 25.00 36.90 38.90 49.80 0.00 14.00 27.70 39.20
Table 1: The Final and Initial Burette Reading for Different Food Samples in Six Trials

Sample name
Volume of extract solution used / cm
3

Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5 Trial 6
Ascorbic acid 1.00 0.70 1.00 0.60 0.10 0.20
Cabbage 4.50 4.50 3.50 6.90 6.80 6.50
Onion 2.00 3.10 2.40 5.10 3.70 4.30
Pineapple 11.00 14.00 11.90 10.90 14.00 11.50
Table 2: The Volume of Extract Solution Used in Six Trials for Different Food Samples

Sample name
Average volume /
cm
3

Standard
deviation
Concentration of Vitamin C /
mg cm
-3

Standard error
Ascorbic acid 0.60 0.3847 0.008333 0.0053432
Cabbage 5.45 1.4584 0.000917 0.0002455
Onion 3.43 1.1690 0.001456 0.0004959
Pineapple 12.22 1.4275 0.000409 0.0000478
Table 3: The Average Volume of Extract Solution, Concentrations of Vitamin C in Different Food Samples and their Standard
Deviations

Sample calculations
For onion extract,
Volume of extract used (Trial 1)
= Final burette volume Initial burette volume
= 25.50 23.50
= 2.00 cm
3

Average volume of extract used
=
Total volume of extract used
Number of trials

=
2.00 3.10 2.40 5.10 3.70 4.30
6

= 3.43 cm
3

Standard deviation of average volume of extract used
=

2
Volume used - Mean volume
Number of trials - 1

=

2 2 2 2 2 2
2.00 3.43 3.10 3.43 2.40 3.43 5.10 3.43 3.70 3.43 4.30 3.43
6 1

= 1.1690

For calculating the concentration of Vitamin C in the sample, the following steps are used:
1. 1 cm
3
of DCPIP solution is equivalent to 0.05 mg of Vitamin C.
2. So, n cm
3
of sample = 1 cm
3
of DCPIP solution = 0.05 mg of Vitamin C.
3. Hence, 1 cm
3
of the solution =
0.05
n
mg of Vitamin C.
4. 1 cm
3
of the original juice will be
0.05 50
10 n
mg of Vitamin C.
5. Therefore, concentration of Vitamin C in the juice =
0.05 50
10
50
n

mg cm
-3
.

Concentration of Vitamin C in onion
=
0.05 50
3.43 10
50

= 0.001456 mg cm
-3

Standard error of concentration of Vitamin C in the sample
=
Standard deviation of average volume of extract used
Concentration of Vitamin C in extract
Average volume of extract used

=
1.1690
0.001456
3.43

= 0.4959

0.0E+00
2.0E-03
4.0E-03
6.0E-03
8.0E-03
1.0E-02
1.2E-02
1.4E-02
1.6E-02
Ascorbic acid Cabbage Onion Pineapple
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Sample type
Chart of Concentration of Vitamin C against Sample Type

Discussion:
1. Since the graph is a kind of bar chart, there are no obvious trends which can be seen.
2. From this experiment, a bar chart is made because the independent variable, which is
the type of sample, has discrete data.
3. Also, due to this conditions, no scatter plots can be made.
4. Excluding the ascorbic acid, the highest value of Vitamin C concentration from the
bar chart is 0.001456 mg cm
-3
, which comes from onion.
5. The lowest value of concentration of Vitamin C is from pineapple, which has a value
of 0.000409 mg cm
-3
.
6. No constant values exist in the bar chart.
7. Experimentally, in ascending order, the concentrations of Vitamin C arrangements are
Pineapple < Cabbage < Onion.
8. However, theoretically, this arrangement is wrong.
9. The actual arrangement, in ascending order, is Onion < Cabbage < Pineapple.
10. Theoretically explained, since Vitamin C is a type of acid, which is ascorbic acid, the
food containing Vitamin C should have a sour taste.
11. Therefore, food with low content of Vitamin C should have a less sour taste, due to
low acidity in the food itself.
12. On the other hand, food containing high Vitamin C content should have a more sour
taste due to high acidity in it.
13. Also, in terms of the DCPIP solution, it can be decolourised when the solution titrated
to it has Vitamin C present in it.
14. The more the concentration of Vitamin C in the food, the less the volume of the
solution needed to decolourise the DCPIP solution.
15. Hence, with high concentration of Vitamin C, DCPIP solution can be decolourised
faster.
16. In this context, the pineapple extract should be the solution which can change the
colour of DCPIP solution with the least volume.
17. This is because the pineapple extract has a higher concentration of Vitamin C in it.
18. Also, since the pineapple extract has the most concentrated Vitamin C compared to
the two other extracts, the extract will be the most acidic.
19. Therefore, it does not decolourise the DCPIP solution, but it only changes its colour
from dark blue to red.
20. The cabbage should be the extract which can decolourise DCPIP solution at a volume
greater than the pineapple extract, but it is still less compared to the onion extract.
21. This is because the Vitamin C concentration in cabbage extract is lower than that of
pineapple, but still, it is still has higher concentration than the onion extract.
22. Likewise, since onion extract is the extract which require the most volume to
decolourise DCPIP solution, the onion extract should be the one which has the lowest
concentration of Vitamin C.
23. In terms of the experimental values, the data obtained in this experiment for the three
extracts are not parallel with the theoretical values.
24. From the experiment, the Vitamin C concentration in onion is the highest, while the
Vitamin C concentration in pineapple is the lowest, which do not satisfy the
theoretical values.
25. One of the possible cause of this occurrence is that, there might be any of the three
extracts whereby during titration, the extract is not titrated enough until the DCPIP
solution completely changes colour from blue to colourless.
26. For example, when titrating DCPIP solution with the onion extract, the reaction is
assumed stopped when DCPIP solution changes colour to light purple.
27. The actual situation is, even though there is a light purple colour in DCPIP solution,
the titration still can be continued because DCPIP solution will eventually turn to
colourless, no matter what.
28. The 1% ascorbic acid solution acts as a control experiment.
29. The value of concentration of Vitamin C in 1% ascorbic acid solution is also taken,
together with the three food extract.
30. This control experiment is present so that its concentration value can be a standard,
thus can be compared to the other values obtained from the other independent
variables.
31. In terms of the error bar, it represents the standard errors for each of the
concentrations of Vitamin C present in each of the sample extracts.
32. From the bar chart, all the error bars of the three extracts, which are cabbage, onion
and pineapple, are relatively small.
33. This means that the data obtained for those three extracts have only small ranges.
34. Therefore, less deviation is present for the three data.
35. However, the error bar for the sample of 1% ascorbic acid solution has the greatest
length compared to the others.
36. This shows that the value of concentration for 1% ascorbic acid has a wider range.
37. Hence, in terms of reliability, the data for concentration of Vitamin C in 1% ascorbic
acid seems to be less reliable.

Evaluation:
Limitation / Weakness Suggestion to improve
The food macerate is mixed with water,
which may not take all of the juices from
the samples.
The juices from the macerate can be taken
thoroughly by not mixing it with water at
all.
The food macerate is filtered by using filter
funnel and filter paper, which consumes a
lot of time.
The time taken to extract the juices can be
reduced by squeezing the food in a cloth in
order to get the filtered juices.
The filter paper is folded in a typical way,
which actually has less surface area to filter
the macerate.
The filter paper can be folded in a way such
that it is fluted, so that it has a greater
surface area for filtering the macerate.
The titration is assumed ended when the
DCPIP solution has turned light purple,
which leads to a wrong result.
For non-acidic solutions, the titration should
be done until DCPIP solution changes
colour from dark blue to completely
colourless.
During filtration, not all of the macerate is
used, which may affect the concentration of
the solution from the macerate.
Ensure that all of the macerate is used for
filtration so that it is proportional to the
concentration of the extract solution.

Conclusion:
Based on all of the data obtained and all of the researches, the less the volume of a solution
required to decolourise the DCPIP solution, the greater the concentration of Vitamin C
contained in that particular extract solution. Although not all of the data obeyed the
hypothesis stated, but the hypothesis itself obey the actual theoretical explanations regarding
to the Vitamin C content in food.

References:
1. UKEssays.com. (n.d.) Measuring the Concentrations of Vitamin C Biology Essay.
Retrieved July 15, 2014, from http://www.ukessays.com/essays/biology/measuring-
the-concentrations-of-vitamin-c-biology-essay.php
2. Metro Richmond STEM Fair. (n.d.). Parts of an Experiment. Retrieved July 17, 2014,
from http://sciencefair.msinnovation.info/handbook/parts_of_exp.htm.