Research question: All organisms have activities, organisms use energy to accomplish activates. Organisms eat food to gain energy, this energy is stored for later use. Since humans are organisms we eat food to gain energy. Which food of the same category gives us more energy?

Hypothesis: Since fat is the main reserve that is burnt for energy then the chips with the most fat content will burn for longer thus increasing the temperature of the liquid even further, therefore, the chips with the most fat content have the most energy.

Since happy-tos has more fats in them than other chips, I think that happy-tos will have more energy in it than other chips. Taro will have the least energy since it has the least fat content.


Independent variable:

  • The different types of chips.
  • The water in the test-tube.

Dependent variable:

  • Energy content of food.

Controlled variable:

  • Amount of water.
  • The distance between the burning food and the test tube.
  • The equipment.
  • Alcohol thermometer.
  • The temperature of the room.
  • Each chip is burnt until it can’t burn anymore.


  • Different types of chips
  • Test tube
  • Needle
  • Bunsen burner
  • Alcohol Thermometer
  • Water
  • stand
  • clamp
  • Electronic balance




  1. Take a chip from the chips packet.
  2. Measure its mass.
  3. Mount it on the needle.
  4. Put 20 ml of water into the test-tube.
  5. Mount the test-tube onto the stand with a clamp.
  6. Place the thermometer into the test-tube, take its reading and pull out the thermometer.
  7. Place the needle on top of the Bunsen burner.
  8. When the chip gets on fire pull it out of the Bunsen burner.
  9. Place the needle under the test-tube.
  10. Wait till the chip burn no more.
  11. Put the thermometer in the water and find its temperature.
  12. Takedown all the readings.
  13. Repeat steps 1 to 12 for 3 times for each different type of chip.
  14. Find the average initial temperature, final temperature, and mass of the food sample.
  15. Use the formula, Energy = Volume of water x (initial-final temperature) x 4.2/ mass of food sample. For each different type of chips

How independent variable was varied: the independent variable can be varied by changing the different type of chip and changing the water in the test-tube.

How changes of the dependent variables was monitored: The dependent variable was found out by measuring the final temperature of the test tube and using the formula.

How controlled variables were controlled: All the controlled variables were controlled by keeping everything constant and changing only the independent variable.

Sufficient relevant data: The data was accurate as there was several trials, the methods of measurements were kept the same and a calculator was used to calculate the formula to achieve the best accuracy for the results.


Contents of the different types of chips.

Chips NameFat (g)Protein (g)Carbohydrates (g)
Chiki balls3g1g8g

Final result

Name of chipsVolume of water (ml)Initial temp (°C)Final temp (°C)Mass of food (g)Energy content of food (j/g)
Chitato20 ml25340.2933202.09
Happy-tos20 ml2259.661.5663885.4
cheetos20 ml25.33450.5162580.20
Chiki balls20 ml2237.660.373541.62
Taro20 ml25.33450.5162020.0766



Discussion of results: Happy-tos has the highest energy and taro has the least energy, this can be seen from the graph. Cheetos is an anomaly because as per the first table Cheetos has the 2nd fattest content but in the graph Cheetos is the 2nd last.

Conclusion: The results show that Happy-tos has the highest energy content, this is because Happy-tos has the highest fat content from the rest of the chips.

Cheetos was an unexpected anomaly, according to the “content of chips” table Cheetos has the second-highest fat content but from the experiment, Cheetos has very less energy content.

Taro had the least energy content but this was already predicted as Taro had the least fat content. My results supports my hypothesis.

Evaluation:  The experiment was carried out fair but there are a few possible improvements like increasing the number of controlled variables to get more accurate results.

The initial temperature and the mass of the food could have been a controlled variable as this could possibly affect the experiment. The Cheetos anomaly could have been a possible mistake due to the initial temperature and the mass of the Cheetos.

The same test tube was used several times for each food, this could have affected the experiment, and using a mercury thermometer could have possibly yielded a better reading.

More trials could have been taken to achieve a greater accuracy and to minimize errors. If the Cheetos anomaly is not an experiment mistake then further investigations should be carried out.


    • Since most of the energy released is heat energy, we’ll use the formula for heat energy
      Q=mc∆T, with Q being the heat energy, c being the specific heat (in this case of water because we’re heating water), m being the mass of the water that you’re heating and ∆T being the change in temperature

      So we’ll sub in the specific heat of water to get –
      Heat energy = mass of water * 4.2 * change in temperature.
      We’ll assume that only heat energy is given out, and the formula for change in temperature is final-initial temperature ->

      Energy = mass of water * 4.2 * final temp-initial temp
      Now, we need to compare the energy per gram so the weight doesn’t affect the result ->

      Energy/Mass of Food = (mass of water * 4.2 * final temp-initial temp)/mass of food

      Now the volume of water in ml is approximately the same as the mass of water (because of water’s density) so we’ll replace that

      Energy/Mass of Food = (volume of water*4.2*final temp-initial temp)/mass of food

      And there you have it. (Also you might notice its kinda different and that i subtracted final from initial. You could do it both ways, but make sure the resulting number is positive)

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