Osmosis Beetroot Experiment

12 December 2016

From the results obtained and the bar graph plotted, it could be seen that when there was a high concentration of sugar the mass of beetroot decreased. This happened because water moved from the inside of the beetroot, where there was a high water potential into the sugar solution, which had a lower water potential. In the other four beakers where the concentration of sugar solution was less, the mass of the beetroot increased. This happened because water moved from the dilute sugar solution where there was a high water potential, into the beetroot.

The percentage increase in the mass of beetroot increased as the concentration of sugar decreased from B to D. This happened because the lower the concentration of sugar the greater its water potential and consequently the faster the rate of osmosis. The results show that in each of the five sugar solutions, the rate of osmosis decreased with time.

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This happened because the difference in water potential between the inside and the outside of the beetroot time decreased as the experiment proceeded.

Osmosis occurred most in distilled water because this contained the highest water potential when compared with the other beakers. Five concentration were used in this experiment in an attempt to try to find the concentration of sugar inside the beetroot. If such concentration was used there would have been neither a decrease an increase in mass of beetroot slice. Such a concentration was however not found in this investigation. It must have been somewhere between the concentrations of A and B as while in the former a decrease in mass was recorded, an increase in mass obtained in the latter.

In this experiment  we could also observe that the colour of the water in which the beetroot were put turned purple. This happened because the purple pigment in the beetroot diffused from the vegetable where there was a high concentration of colour into the water where there was no pigment at all. It was expected that the purple colour released by the beetroot increased with concentration of sugar dissolved in water. This was however not observed in the experiment.

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