Annex A - Group Research Proposal (Science)


Names: Claudia Khin, Brandi Lai, Wong Kang Zhi, Sanjana Suha

Class: S2-07

Group Reference: E

[   ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research

[   ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)

[ X ] Measure a function or a relationship: Experimental research (II)

[   ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics

[   ] Observational and exploratory research

[   ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research

Title: An investigation on the effects of temperature on the loss of Vitamin C in oranges for a period of two weeks.

Questions or Problem being addressed
Many people buy oranges in bulk when they are cheaper during a sale or a clearance so that they can save some money. Oranges are originally a very good source of Vitamin C. But, the problem is that many people might not know the ideal place to store all the oranges so that the oranges can retain their Vitamin C. So they end up storing all of their oranges in fruit basket on the dining of coffee table or placing them in a plastic bag and storing them somewhere. When the finally have the time to eat the oranges, the amount of Vitamin C in the orange would probably have decreased significantly due to the temperature of the storage space.

Goals / Expected outcome / Hypothesis
Our hypothesis is: If the oranges are stored in temperatures of about 1 - 5 degrees Celsius, the amount of Vitamin C retained in the oranges will be more compared to oranges that are stored in other places with different temperatures. Through this investigation, we plan to find out if the rate at which the amount of Vitamin C decreases when it is stored in places of different temperatures, so that we can inform people whether to store their oranges in the refrigerator, in a place with constant temperature or near a mild heat source (near the window).

Independent Variable
- Temperature of locations
- Location the oranges are placed in

Dependent Variables
- The amount of iodine needed to turn each solution dark

Controlled Variables
- Type of Fruit (oranges)
- Amount of starch solution added to the 5different solutions
- Amount of juiced-orange and control solution is tested at a time
- The batch the oranges are from
- Duration the oranges are kept in a temperature of a location

Description in detail of method or procedures

1. Store oranges into 3 different places.
a. Near a heat source (i.e. beside a window with a table lamp shining on it).
b. In a place with constant temperature (i.e. in a cupboard).
c. In a place that is just above 0 degree Celsius (i.e. in the refrigerator).
2. The oranges and the control solution will be tested daily using the testing methods.
3. The results from the daily testing will be keyed into a spreadsheet daily.
4. At the end of two weeks, the result will be compared with each other and the daily decrease will be calculated.
5. From there, a conclusion will be made and a report will be generated to see whether the hypothesis is correct and figure out which is the ideal place to store oranges.

To make control solution
  1. Grind a 250mg Vitamin C tablet into fine particles.
  2. Add 100ml of water and mix thoroughly, until the solution becomes a homogenous mixture.
  3. Add another 150ml of water to dilute the solution and mix thoroughly.
  4. Make sure all particles have been fully dissolved before storing into respective places.

To titrate control solution
  1. Measure 20ml of control solution into a beaker/measuring cylinder.
  2. Add 10 drops of starch solution
  3. Using a disposable dropper, measure the amount of iodine solution and add into solution drop by drop into the flask.
  4. Swirl the flask to mix the iodine solution and the juice solution after each addition.
  5. The titration will be complete when the iodine creates a blur-black colour in the solution that lasts for more than 20 seconds.
  6. Measure the amount of iodine solution added into the control solution and record down.

To titrate orange juice
  1. Measure 20ml of juice into flask
  2. Add 10 drops of starch solution
  3. Using a disposable dropper, measure the amount of iodine solution and as into solution drop by drop into the flask.
  4. Swirl the flask to mix the iodine solution and the juice solution after each addition.
  5. The titration is complete when the iodine creates a distinct colour change in the juice solution. This colour change will be harder to see that with the Vitamin C solution, since the juice starts out orange. The colour will change from orange to grayish brown when the endpoint is reached.
  6. Measure amount of iodine added into the juice solution.

Equipment List
- Beakers 80ml x 4
- Measuring Cylinders 100ml x 3, 250ml x 1
- Juicer x 1
- Conical Cylinder 250ml x 1
- Starch Solution x 500ml
- Iodine Solution x 500 ml
- Disposable Droppers 3ml x 5
- Funnel x 2
- Knife x 3
- Tiles x 3
- Pestle and Mortar x 1
- Vitamin C tablets 250mg x 10
- Table lamp x 1
- Refrigerator x 1
- Disposable Gloves x 1 box
- Distilled Water x 2L


Data collection process:
1. Data from daily experimenting will be keyed into a spreadsheet
2. After all experimenting has been done, all the data will be plotted into a bar graph and a line graph. The x-axis of the graphs will be the day and the y-axis of the graph will be the amount of Vitamin C decrease in the orange. The heading will be “The rate at which Vitamin C in oranges decrease when placed in different temperatures”
3. The results that are tabulated will be compared with each other.
4. Since we are only comparing numbers, no software will be required.

Risk and Safety: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken
List / Identify the hazardous chemicals, activities or heat devices that will be used
  • Iodine solution will be used in the experiments. Iodine itself is poisonous
  • Oranges have to be cut to obtain the juice which will be tested on.
  • Glass beakers and other lab equipments will be used throughout the experiment.
Identify and assess the risks involved
  • If not handled properly, one can be poisoned from the iodine solution
  • If not handled properly, on can injure himself/herself because of the blade’s sharpness
  • If not handled properly, one can injure himself/herself by the glass once the beaker or any other equipment is broken/shattered.
Describe the safety precautions and procedures that will be used to reduce the risks
  • To prevent Iodine poisoning, gloves and lab safety goggles will be worn all the time.
  • To prevent injuring oneself with a knife, peer supervision will be made and an there will be First-aid kit available in the lab so that help can be easily rendered in the case of one getting injured.
  • To prevent injury from broken glassware, we will wear gloves and take caution while using the glassware.

Describe the disposal procedures that will be used (when applicable).
All used droppers will be disposed of after being used into the general wastes bin.

List the source(s) of safety information.
The Johnson & Johnson First Aid Book
Written by Stephen N. Rosenberg, with the cooperation and medical review of the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University and the Section of Emergency Services, University of Michigan Medical School

Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer research questions or hypothesis.
A spreadsheet will be used, where results of the experiment conducted everyday over the period of two weeks will be recorded. At the end of two weeks, a comparison between all the data we collected will be made. Since only the rate at which Vitamin C decreases will be compared, no software will be needed. After the spreadsheet is completed, graphs will be created manually based on the place that the orange was stored in. our data will be represented in the form of a bar graph.

Bibliography: List at least five (5) major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your literature review. If you plan to use vertebrate animals, one of these references must be an animal care reference. Choose the APA format and use it consistently to reference the literature used in the research plan. List your entries in alphabetical order.

Hickernell, N.J.. (2004). Do Oranges Lose or Gain Vitamin C After Being Picked?. Retrieved July 5, 2013, from

Matei, N. et al. (2006, September 26). Kinetic Study of Vitamin C Degradation From Pharmaceutical Products. Retrieved July 5, 2013, from

Nagy, S.J. (1980, January). Vitamin Contents of a Citrus Fruits and Their Products. Retrieved July 5, 2013 from

Nikaien, L.M.. (2005). The Effect of Temperature on the Decay of Ascorbic Acid. Retrieved July 5, 2013 from

Njoku, P.C., Ayuk, A.A. and Okoye C.V.. (2011). Temperature Effects on Vitamin C Content in Citrus Fruits. Retrieved July 5 2013, from

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