- 2 fresh apples
- large box of table salt
- large box of Epsom salts
- large box of baking soda
- eight 12-oz disposable plastic cups
- measuring cup
- large mixing bowl
- permanent marking pen
- roll of masking tape
- sensitive balance or food scale
- piece of graph paper and pencil
Step 1. Slice the two apples into quarters so that you have eight slices similar in size. Place a piece of tape on each cup and write the words “starting weight.” Select one slice, weigh it, and record the weight on the outside of cup 1. Follow the same procedure with the other seven apple slices until each cup has been labeled with the appropriate starting weight.
Fill the cups with an apple quarter and the following household materials:
|Cup||Filled with||Before Weight||After Weight|
|1||½ cup baking soda|
|2||½ cup Epsom salts|
|3||½ cup table salts|
|4||50:50 Epsom salt / table salt|
|5||50:50 table salt / baking soda|
|6||50:50 baking soda /Epsom salt|
|7||1/3 baking soda, 1/3 table salts, 1/3 Epsom salt|
Step 3. Leave cup 8 alone as a control.
Step 4. Place the cups on a shelf out of direct sunlight and let them sit for seven days.
Step 5. After a week has gone by, take out each apple slice, brush off as much salt as possible, and reweigh. (Do not rinse the apple off because that will rehydrate it.)
Step 6. Compare the starting and ending weights of each slice and calculate the percentage of weight which is moisture lost for each by dividing the difference in weight by the starting weight.
1. Which compound would seem to work best at making an apple mummy?
2. Would you have achieved the same results if you used a whole, unpeeled apple? Try it and find out.
3. What was the point of leaving one of the apple slices in a cup without any salt at all?
4. Where did the moisture in the slices go? How could you confirm this?