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BIO111-101

1
Tejay Greenwood

Chemical Composition of Cells
Abstract
In this experiment we conducted four different tests. Test one was testing for starch
using iodine. Test two was testing for sugars using the Benedict’s reagent. Test three was
testing for proteins using the Biuret reagent. Test four was testing for lipids using
microscopic analyzation for colloids using emulsifcation. The unknown test subject was
negative for starch, positive for sugar, inconclusive for protein, and had lipids.

Introduction
Test one was testing for the presence of starch in the contents. Iodine molecules lodge in
the coiled structure of starch. This is what causes the change of color from yellowish brown to
blue black. Test two was testing for the presence of glucose in the contents. Benedict’s reagent
changed from blue to a range between green (lowest amount of sugar) and red (very high in
sugar). Test three was testing for the presence of proteins in the contents. Biuret agent contains a
strong solution of sodium or potassium hydroxide, and a small amount of dilute copper sulfate
solution. The Biuret reagent changes the color of the contents when there is a presence of
proteins or peptides. Test four was testing for the presence of lipids in the contents. By using the
microscopic analyzation for colloids, you’re looking for the shape that the lipids present
themselves. By conducting these tests, we will find out if the unknown has the presence of
starch, sugars, proteins, and lipids. We hypothesized that the unknown test subject was positive
for protein because of the appearance. The unknown was thick, and white like yogurt which led
us to the conclusion that it was made from milk which is a protein food.

Materials & Methods
To conduct these four tests we used: a wax pencil, 17 test tubes, a centimeter/ millimeter
ruler, iodine solution, parafilm, Benedict’s Reagent, Biuret reagent, distilled water, onion juice,
potato juice, glucose solution, mortar, pestle, starch suspension, microscope, boileezers, heat
plate, 500 ml beaker, razor, microscope slides, cover slip, paper towels, test tube tongs, droppers,
albumin solution, pepsin solution, milk, bile salt, oil.
To test the effectiveness of each experiment we used positive and negative controls. For
the iodine test for starch, the negative controls were water, and glucose; the positive control was
starch. The onion juice, potato juice, and the unknown were the test subjects. For the Benedict’s
test for sugars the negative controls were water and starch, while glucose was the positive
control, leaving the onion juice, potato juice, and the unknown as our test subjects. The Biuret
test for proteins used the negative controls, water and starch; the positive controls albumin, and
pepsin; and the unknown was the test subject.

BIO111-101

2

Two of the reagents we used in our experiment were associated with hazards. Benedict’s
solution, as well as the Biuret reagent are highly corrosive, and we should exercise care when
using either of these chemicals to be sure they do not come in contact with our skin.
Test Tube #
Results
Contents.
Iodine?
Control?

Test Tube

Results.
#
Results
Contents
mean.

Benedicts?
Control?

1
H2o
+
Positive
Cont.
1
Orange
Negative
H2o

Iodine: Test For Starch
2
3
4
5
Starch
Onion Juice Potato Juice Glucose
+
+
+
+
Positive
TestFor
Subject
TestSugars
Subject Negative
Benedict’s: Test
Reducing
Cont.
2
3
4
5Cont.
Black
Orange
Black
Orange
Positive
Negative
Positive
Negative
Glucose
Starch
Onion
Potato

Juice
+
Test
subject
Orangered, not
blue
Medium
Positive

+
Negative
Cont.
Blue

+
Positive
Cont.
Not blue,
yellow-ish

+
Negative
Cont.
Blue

Results
mean.

Negative

Weak
positive

Negative

Test Tube
#
Contents.
Biuret?
Control?

1

Biuret: Test For Proteins
2
3
4

H2o
+
Negative
Cont.
Blue

Albumin
+
Positive
Cont.
Yellow

Negative

Weak
Positive

Results.

Results.
Results
mean.

Test Tube #
Contents.
Test Tube
After Sitting

Under

Pepsin
+
Positive
Cont.
“Beer”
Color
Medium
Positive

Juice
+
Test
subject
Orange,
not blue

+
Test
subject
Orange,
not blue

Medium
Positive

Medium
Positive

5

Starch
+
Negative
Cont.
Blue

Unknown
+
Test Subject

Negative

Inconclusiv
e

Emulsification: Test For Lipids and Oils
1
2
3
Unknown
#1
Oil & H2o Oil, H2o
Milk &
Unknown
and
H2o
& Water
Emulsifier
Thick
Cloudy
Think
Precipitate
Lay
Layer of
at bottom,
er
Oil
cloudy
of
Oil
Round
Misshapen Giants
Some

6
Unknown
+
Test
6Subject
Orange
Negative
Unknown

White

Unknown
#2
Unknown
with
Emulsifier
medium
layer

Giant globs

BIO111-101
Microscope
Results.

3
Balls of
Oil
Began to
separate
after
mixture.

oil globs

balls of oil

The
emulsifier
“attacked”
the oil.

Shaking
with water
drew out
the lipids
from the
milk.

smooth oil
spots
The water
drew out
the fats and
began to
mix them

of oil,
misshapen
The
emulsifier
started to
draw out
and attack
the fats

These results helped us to determine that our unknown contained no starch, some sugar, a
little bit of fat, and possibly proteins. We can determine this by how globs of fat were extracted
from our unknown when it was mixed with water, it did not react with the iodine that texted for
starch, but did react with both the biuret and benedicts reagent.

Discussion
Our initial goal was to try and test our unknown against both positive and negative
controls to determine if our unknown reacted with each of our reagents. Our hypothesis was that
it would test positive for proteins because of how similar it was to yogurt- which is a milk
product that contains proteins. However, when we conducted the biuret test for proteins, instead
of changing yellow (positive reaction) or remaining blue (negative reaction) our unknown
remained white and was given an inconclusive result.
A potential error that could have interfered with our lab is that some of our samples could
have been contaminated or aged to a point where they began to take on the properties of other
test subjects. An example of this is with potatoes, if they age out in the open for to long they not
only test positive for starch but sometimes also reducing sugars from where they convert them
for food. This can sometimes give false data that can alter results and make some data invalid if
the potato is being used a control. We can fix this by making sure that in future experiments, all
of our test subjects and controls are all fresh an uniform so that they will react correctly when
being used as either a positive or negative control.
From our experiment we can conclude that our unknown does not contain starch, but
does contain some fats, and some sugars. However because our test for proteins was inconclusive
we cannot safely make any conclusions about that data without testing our unknown again.

Sources
1. Mader, Sylvia S. Biology. 11th ed. New York: McGraw- Hill, 2013. Print.