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Chemicals of

Life
Jessica Schweiss
Mrs. Schwent
Advanced Biology
5th Period
9/2/15
I.

.

II.
Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and nucleic acids all have different
chemical structures. Carbohydrates are the most existing organic compound.
The building blocks for carbohydrates are simple sugars. These include glucose

and fructose. However, they can be more complex and consist of more than a
couple thousand simple sugars. Some foods with carbohydrates include corn,
wheat, and potatoes. Proteins are large polymers composed of joined amino
acids. These chains are able to fold upon themselves to form enzymes or
collagen. Proteins are found in foods such as egg white and milk. Lipids include
fats and oils. They are classified as the most simple property. Lipids are insoluble
in water, which make them different than the other properties. Cheese and meat
are some foods with lipids in them. Nucleic acids include RNA and DNA. Some of
these acids that are ingested from foods can be reused in the body. They reuse
these acids to form components of new cells or repairing.
A variety of test were performed on five different unknown solutions. These
unknowns were ran through four different test in order to find which displayed
each organic compound. These test are performed to identify the different
nutrients based off their chemical properties. To test for carbohydrates, the iodine
test was used. The reaction with iodine is used to find the presence of starch. If
the test shows positive, the solution will be a dark blue color due to the starchiodine absorption. Proteins are tested using the biuret test. This test solution
contains copper sulfate dissolved in a highly strong base. When the dissolved
copper ions coordinate with nitrogen and oxygen, they form a purple colored
complex. The positive biuret test result will appear as a lavender or purple color.
More intense purples indicate the different nature of the protein or how much is
present. The Sudan III test identifies lipids. Sudan III is a particular due in which
dissolves in nonpolar compounds such as lipids. The positive result needs to be
compared to a positive control. Distinguishing between a positive result and a
negative can be difficult which is why there needs to be a control made in
comparison.
The experiment was carried out by labeling five different microcentrifuges.
Each centrifuge needs to be filled with the same amount of unknown solution.
The solutions are ran one at a time through several tests. Each test differ by the
amount of test solution added to each unknown. When the test solution is added,
the next step is to determine if the unknown is positive or negative. The
experiment is repeated until all test are ran and each unknown is identified.
III.
The purpose of the Chemicals of Life experiment was to identify the
different biochemical nutrients in a variety of foods. The experiment was carried
out to show the different classification tests used to identify these compounds.
IV.
If we use an iodine test, a biuret test, a Sudan III solution test, and a
diphenylamine solution test, then we will be able to classify each unknown. The
classification test will accurately identify each unknown with the positive and
negative results.
V. Materials
A. Biuret test solution, 25-50 drops

B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.
J.
K.

Diphenylamine solution, 60 drops
Iodine solution, 10-20 drops
Sudan III Solution 25 drops
Unknown A, 42 drops
Unknown B, 42 drops
Unknown C, 42 drops
Unknown D, 42 drops
Unknown E, 42 drops
Unknown plant sample. 42-50 drops
Hot water bath

Equipment
A. Floating microcentrifuge rack
B. Labels
C. Marker
D. Microcentrifuge tubes, 5
E. Pipets, Beral-type
VI. Procedure
1. Gather materials and equipment
2. Add 12 drops of unknown A to tube A, 12 drops of unknown B to tube B,
etc. through tube E.
3. Add 2-4 drops of iodine to each tube to test for the presence of
carbohydrates
4. Use a “+” to indicate a positive test and a “-” to indicate a negative test.
5. Record the results on the Chemicals of Life Worksheet.
6. Remove the unknowns from the tubes and thoroughly clean and rinse the
microcentrifuge tubes
7. Repeat steps 1-5 using 12 drops of biuret test solution instead of iodine to
test for proteins.
8. Repeat steps 1-5 using 5 drops of Sudan III and mix thoroughly.
9. Repeat steps 1-3 using 12 drops of diphenylamine solution.
10. Place the microcentrifuge tubes into a floating rack within the hot water
bath for 10-20 minutes before interpreting the results.
11. Answer the questions for Part I on the Chemicals of Life Worksheet.
VII.
a.
Unknown

Carbohydrate

Protein

Lipid

Nucleic Acid

A

-

-

-

-

B

-

-

+

-

C

+

-

-

-

D

-

+

-

-

E

-

-

-

+

b.
VIII.
The experiment consisted of four different test. The test was used on
five different unknowns. The unknowns were labeled A-E. The classification test
were the iodine test, the Sudan III solution test, the Biuret test, and the
diphenylamine solution test. The experiment started out by labeling all the
unknowns. We went through the test multiple times to make sure the results were
accurate.
When we tested the iodine test. We took twelve drops of each unknown and
added three drops of iodine in each tube. The presence of carbohydrates was
displayed with a dark blue color. Unknown solution C resulted in a positive for
carbohydrates. The next test we ran through was the biuret test with new
solutions. About twelve drops of biuret test solution was added to the five
unknowns once again. If the solutions turned lavender or dark purple, the
solution was positive for proteins. Unknown D was the only one that showed
positive. The third test was for lipids. The five unknowns were once again tested
by adding five drops of Sudan III test solution. There was a positive control for
the unknowns to be compared to. When the test was ran, unknown B tested
positive for lipids. Lastly, the five unknowns were tested for nucleic acids. The
solutions had twelve drops of diphenylamine added to them. The unknowns were
put on a hot water bath for about ten to twenty minutes. After the time was over,
unknown E showed positive by being a blue or purple-complex color.
Throughout the experiment, there may have been a few errors. All eye
droppers can differ in the size drops. Therefore, some of the solutions may have
had more than the other. When the test solutions were added, more or less could
have been added than expected. This could have affected the results. As we
were running through the test, some unknowns looked closely alike. Some were
mistaken to be positive, but we picked the best option for the results. The results
we recorded may not have been as accurate as they should be. However, our
hypothesis was correct. We said that the classification test could accurately
identify which unknown is what. After doing the test, we got our results.
Some ways this experiment could have been performed more accurately
would be to carefully test the solutions. Our group should have taken more of a
careful approach to the lab. We should have taken more time to make sure the
results were correct. They may have been misleading due to the fact of rushing
and not double checking.