Stomach Acid/Chewing Experiment

My previous blog post taught us how important our yucky slobber is in a fun, yummy experiment. Today will be another Digestion Experiment!

For our “candy experiment” we used peppermints because that’s all we had on hand. I’m all about trying to use what we have!

Today’s experiment, Experiment #3, comes from the same site we used previously!

I save all my glass jars to try to reduce waste, and this is just another example of why saving things comes in handy!

We took 4 jars and 3 mints, one of which was broken in half. I poured water into 2 glass jars and vinegar into the other 2. I placed the mints in front of the appropriate jars so the kids and I could plop the mints into the jars at the same exact time.

Jars on the LEFT are water, Jars on the Right are Vinegar

“1…2…3!!!” The kids and I plopped the mints in, I turned on the stopwatch feature on my phone, and then went about making our lunch. At about 13 minutes, we checked on them. We noticed that everything was about the same. The red stripes were coming off the mints, but in the jars of BOTH of the half-mints, not only was the water pink from the red stripes, there was a white milky liquid floating around in the jars too-where the mints were already starting to slowly dissolve!

We went and scarfed our lunch down and then came back to check on the mints again. The mints had now been soaking in the water and vinegar jars for 35 minutes.

These are the 2 Water Jar Mints 35 minutes in.

You can see the water is pink in both, but the half-mint jar is a lighter pink, and you can see a tail of white liquid to the right of the half-mint. It’s so cool to see how much quicker the smaller mint is breaking down!

The 2 Vinegar Jar Mints 35 minutes in.

Okay, not my best pictures ever, but you get the idea. The half-mint in the Vinegar jar is even smaller than the water jar!!

This experiment is about CHEWING. When we CHEW, the food gets smaller and broken down even quicker than whole pieces. But I took it a step further with my kids. Last week in Biology we also learned about stomach ACID. Stomach acid kills germs, but it also helps break down the chewed up food even more before it passes to the small intestines. Similarly to how the Vinegar break down the mints a little faster than the water, our stomach acid helps to break down our food faster than water could.

Our Conclusion!

Neat, huh?

What kind of science experiments have YOU done to learn more about how amazing our bodies are?

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