Pineapples and Enzymes

Objective

To understand how digestive enzymes work as well as the affects of food processing on the chemical properties of certain foods.

Difficulty

Procedure: Easy

Concept: Medium

Concept

Several foods, such as fruits, contain enzymes that are responsible for breaking down proteins. Pineapples have one of these kinds of enzymes called Bromelin. To observe the effects that Bromeline has on protein students will place fresh and frozen pineapple chunks into geltatin putting the warning on the back of the Jell-O box to the test.

Materials

Hypothesis

How will the Bromelin in the pineapple affect the gelatin when it is added? Will there be any difference between the affects of the fresh, canned, and frozen pineapples?

Procedure

Analysis

What observations can you make about each test tube? How has the added pineapple affected the gelatin in each case? Why did it do this? What conclusions can you draw from this data about the different types of pineapple? What can you determine about the gelatin?

Extensions

Try a different fruit. Research other enzymes that are responsible for the breakdown of proteins. What other methods could you use to observe the action of these proteins?