Project Summary
This project was designed to aid in the societal movement towards healthy eating by providing cooking methods which preserve a food’s naturally occurring nutrients with a focus on vitamin C, as well as devise an analytical method for determining vitamin C content.  Vitamin C is highly water soluble, as well as easily oxidized by oxygen, heat, and light and therefore content is easily reduced through cooking.

An iodine-starch solution was used as a color-indicator test to visually show the amount of vitamin C in the two foods tested, Capsicum annuum and Brassica oleracea.  A controlled amount of light was passed through each sample and then measured by a Lego RCX robotics unit.  Known concentrations of vitamin C were prepared to create standards with which to compare the light readings of the unknown concentrations of the samples.  The method produced repeatable and quantitative data that showed that microwaving preserved the highest amount of vitamin C as compared to raw, which was followed by steaming and then boiling for broccoli whereas broiling for green bell peppers.

The following are the variables used in the experiment:

·         Independent Variable:  Preparation Method of the bell peppers and broccoli

   Control Group:  Raw

   Experimental Group:  Microwave, Boil, Broil, Steamed

·         Dependent Variable:  Vitamin C content

The project provided the average consumer with sufficient knowledge on the preservation of vitamin C and nutrients similar to vitamin C, as well as an efficient, simple method for quantitatively analyzing vitamin C and other color change indicator tests.