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A Biology Laboratory Exercise Using Macromolecule Assays to Distinguish Four Types of Milk

    Author: Charlotte W. Pratt1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA 98119
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 19 May 2011
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Avenue West, Ste 205, Seattle, WA 98119. Phone: (206) 281-2189. E-mail: prattc1@spu.edu.
    • Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2011 vol. 12 no. 1 44-45. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.242
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    Abstract:

    One of the drawbacks of cookbook-style laboratory exercises for General Biology courses is that students are not challenged to develop skills in scientific reasoning, such as formulating hypotheses and designing and carrying out experiments. Several traditional laboratory curricula include exercises involving semi-quantitative colorimetric assays to detect proteins (biuret test), reducing sugars (Benedict’s test), starch (Lugol’s test), and lipids (Sudan red test) in a variety of easily prepared solutions (glucose, albumin, glycine, etc.) and familiar food items (lemon juice, cornstarch, egg white, etc.). An extension of this lab exercise was developed to allow students to use their knowledge of the macromolecule assays to design an experiment to distinguish four types of “milk”: whole milk, skim milk, cream, and soy milk (rice milk or almond milk could also be included).

Key Concept Ranking

Soy Milk
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Petri Dish
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Test Tubes
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Hot Plate
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Vortex Mixer
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Boiling Tubes
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References & Citations

1. Benedict SR 1909 A reagent for the detection of reducing sugars J Biol Chem 5 485 487
2. Perry JW, Morton D, Perry JB 2007 Macromolecules and you: food and diet analysis 55 70 Laboratory manual for general biology 5th ed Thomson Brooks Cole Belmont, CA
3. Scully TA, Fisher R 2009 Chemical building blocks and nutrition 5.1 5.27 Discovering biology in the lab: an introductory laboratory manual WW Norton & Co New York
4. Vodopich DS, Moore R 2008 Biologically important molecules 55 66 Biology laboratory manual 8th ed McGraw Hill New York
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.242
2011-05-19
2017-11-20

Abstract:

One of the drawbacks of cookbook-style laboratory exercises for General Biology courses is that students are not challenged to develop skills in scientific reasoning, such as formulating hypotheses and designing and carrying out experiments. Several traditional laboratory curricula include exercises involving semi-quantitative colorimetric assays to detect proteins (biuret test), reducing sugars (Benedict’s test), starch (Lugol’s test), and lipids (Sudan red test) in a variety of easily prepared solutions (glucose, albumin, glycine, etc.) and familiar food items (lemon juice, cornstarch, egg white, etc.). An extension of this lab exercise was developed to allow students to use their knowledge of the macromolecule assays to design an experiment to distinguish four types of “milk”: whole milk, skim milk, cream, and soy milk (rice milk or almond milk could also be included).

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

Sudan red test results. The intensity of staining is proportional to lipid content. Vegetable oil was used as a positive control.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2011 vol. 12 no. 1 44-45. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.242
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FIGURE 2

Benedict’s test results. Reducing sugars produce a yellow to red-brown precipitate. 6% glucose was used as a positive control.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2011 vol. 12 no. 1 44-45. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.242
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Image of FIGURE 3

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FIGURE 3

Lugol’s test results. Starch reacts with IKI to produce a blue-black color. 1% cornstarch was used as a positive control.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2011 vol. 12 no. 1 44-45. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.242
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