Red Cabbage Science
Expose your outdoor side and brighten up your world with natural vegetables! With the use of a home grown vegetable, it is possible to change the colors of different foods while simultaneously testing the pH.
Preparing the Vegetables
1. Naturally grow and harvest a red cabbage plant.
Break apart the entire vegetable and place the pieces into a quart-sized Ziploc bag.
2. Add enough water to the bag to cover the entire leaf.
3. Using your hands with the bag sealed, mash the red cabbage until the majority of the leaf juice mixes with the water
4. Drain the purple liquid of the bag into several clear cups.
Preparing the Test
1. Find an assortment of items from your backyard (leaves, fruits, water, soil, etc.)
2. Mash the selected solid samples with water like the cabbage leaves were mashed.
Test Your Samples
1. Add samples of the red cabbage juice to the different assortment of nature objects. Observe the color changes.
Key: Red or Pink- acid Green or yellow- Base (alkali) No apparent color change- neutral or slightly basic.
Why This Works
Acids are present in many different aspects of our biotic and antibiotic environment. As a compound, an acid may appear sour in taste. A fruit, is a common example of an acid, and the acids in fruit include: citric, malic, ascorbic, tartaric, lactic, and fumaric. Hydrogen is an essential element for classifying acids, because it is released when the substance is submersed in water. Due to the presence of hydrogen, the acidity or basic qualities of a substance can be measure with a scale called a pH scale. The scale identifies the quality of the substance by using a number system where 0 is extremely acidic, 7 is neutral, and 14 is extremely basic. Other materials in our environment may be bases or, alkalies. Many bases in the soil that exist are hydroxides and ammonias. Unlike acids, bases usually exhibit a bitter taste.