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Chem 108

Spring 2009

Date of experiment: 3/19/09

Date of submission: 4/2/09

Experiment #7:

Analysis of Percent Fat in Chips


Abstract: The purpose of the experiment was to analyze the mass percentage of fat in both
regular and fat-free Pringle potato chips. The efficiency of fat extraction was also determined for
each trial.

Fat extraction by petroleum ether was the method used by which the mass percentage of fat in
the chips was determined. Petroleum ether, a solvent that dissolves only fat as opposed to salts
and carbohydrates, was mixed with tiny particles of chips. The particles then removed, the pet
ether was then left to boil away, leaving behind residue fat.

Introduction: The reason for analysis of fats in chips was due to health concern and claims of
“fat free chips”. When potato chips are being produced, fat is added. Normally, potatoes do not
contain fat. Currently, heart attacks and heart disease are the leading cause of death for men and
women world wide.

To find out how much fat the chips contained, fat extraction was performed by petroleum ether.
Petroleum ether, a solvent that dissolves only fat as opposed to salts and carbohydrates, was
mixed with tiny particles of chips. Particles then removed, the pet ether was then left to boil
away, leaving behind residue fat.

The expected result of the experiment would be to determine a fat percentage, in both regular
and fat-free Pringle chips, that is true to the chip label information on the container. Thus,
expected results would be 17% fat for regular Pringles, and 0% fat for fat-free Pringles.

Sample Regular Pringles Fat Free Pringles


%Total Fat 17 % 0%
Serving Size (in grams)
Total Fat (in grams) 28 g 28 g
Theoretical % fat in chips
11 g 0g

39 % 0%

This table above shows the information from the label of the chip’s carton. It is important to
review this because it shows the amount of fat and other nutrition facts.

The 17% “total fat” from the label above refers to the amount of fat in the product compared to
the amount needed for a 2,000 calorie diet. The actual amount of fat in the chips is 11 g, or 39%
of total 28 g serving size (Ref. 2)

Experiment relevancy. Brief description of experimental method and EXPECTED results.


Include chip label information. Explain 17% on label—what it means. Look up daily percent
value. Show reference.
Experimental Procedure: The procedure described by Yau (Ref. 1) was followed.

Data & Observations:

Data from nutrition label Regular Fat Free Pringles


Pringles
%Total Fat 17 % 0%
Serving Size (g)
28 g 28 g
Total Fat (g)
Theoretical % fat in chips 11 g 0g

39 % 0%

Data from experiment Regular Fat Free Pringles


Pringles
Mass of crushed chips (g) 0.5416 g 0.364 g

Mass of empty Erlenmeyer Flask (g) 39.143 g 41.359 g

Mass of Flash + fat residue 39.348 g 41.460 g

Mass of fat residue 0.205 g 0.101 g

% Fat in chips 37.85 % 27 %

Calculations & Results:

Percent theoretical fat = (Mass of fat / Mass of sample) x 100

= (11 g / 28 g) x 100

= 39%

Mass of fat residue (regular Pringles) = (39.348g – 39.143g)


= 0.205 g

Mass of fat residue (fat-free Pringles) = (41.460g – 41.359g)

= 0.101 g

% Fat in chips (regular Pringles) = (0.205g / 0.5416g) x 100

= 27 %

% Fat in chips (fat-free Pringles) = (0.101g/0.364g) x 100

= 37.85 %

Summary of Results and Discussion:

I. Discussion of Class Results:

See attached Class Results Table printout. The table shows experimental trials from the
entire class. There are a few outliers—irregular results that stand out among the rest—
such as Student 5, Student 12, Student 14, Student 16 and Student 18. The average
percent fat, adjusted for outliers, was 27.4 %

Average Percent Fat

= (Total % Fat of All Trials) / Number of trials)

= ( (23.9 + 29.0 + 28.7 + 29.7 + 23.5 + 30.4 + 31.6 + 28.1 + 27.8 + 32.8 + 34.0 + 27.2 +
30.4 + 21.0 + 21.0 + 18.8 +27.9) / 17)

= 27.4%

Efficiency of Extraction

= (Experimental % Fat / Theoretical % Fat in Chips ) x 100

= ( 27.4 / 39 ) x 100

= 70.2 %

Efficiency of extraction refers to the precision and accuracy of extraction of fat from the
chips. My extraction of fat from the chips, 37.8 % was very close to the theoretical fat, 39
%.
All experimental trials showed that the fat-free Pringles have substantial fat in them. The
fat-free Pringle chips contain Olestra, a fat substitute which is indigestible by the body
but shows up as fat residue in the experiment. Olestra is added, because to cook, or bake,
chips, oil is needed. The process of baking chips requires fats. Olestra is a fat, this it
shows up as fat in our experiment, but it is indigestible. The fat that appeared from fat-
free chips appeared to be opaque. Too much Olestra in food can cause negative side
effects such as diarrhea, upset stomach, etc.

II. Error Analysis:

There are many causes for error in this experiment. One could be that while crushing
chips, some of the chips were left in the mortar, thus reducing the fat percent
considerably. Another could be to let the pet either boil away for too long. That would
reduce fat percentage as well. One of the more common mistake that a lot of individuals
made was probably the absorption of tiny chip particles through the glass dropper into the
beaker. That would increase the measured mass of the beaker, thus indicating an
increased amount of fat percentage.

Conclusion:

“Fat-free” chips do in fact contain fat, although it is 10% less than regular Pringle chips. There is
27.7% fat in fat-free chips.

References:

1. Yau, C. L. Chem 108 Experiments in Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory,;

Academx: Baltimore, MD, 2007; pp 64-65

2. "NEWS: DA Approves at Substitute." FDA. 26 Jan 1996. 4 Apr 2009

<http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/NEW00524.html>.