|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Unfortunately, there is no simple test to quantitate these nutrients in foods. There are some relatively simple tests for presence or absence of carbohydrates and fats in foods, but none for proteins. The fat and carbohydrate tests have been published by the National FFA Foundation in a manual called "Food Science, Safety and Nutrition." The address I have for that information is PO Box 45205, Madison, Wisconsin 53744 (Phone 608-829-3105). Basically, the procedure for determining the presence of fat in foods involves putting food on brown paper bags and looking at the "spot" that develops. The procedure for presence of carbohydrates involves using and iodine solution. Iodine reacts with carbohydrates to form a brown pigment. Even though the procedure calls for "Lugol's solution", the tincture of iodine solution from the pharmacy works as well. We have put the fat experiment as well as some other food experiments that can be used with this age group on our web site at www.clemson.edu/NIRC. Then go to the section for "nutrition for teachers" and then to the listing of experiments. They are available in PDF format. If you have difficulty opening them, please contact us and we will be happy to send you the information. Good luck!
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