Practical B2 - Investigate the energy content of food

A simple investigation can be conducted to investigate the energy content of a food sample.


Burning food test
  1. Add water - around 20cm3 - to a boiling tube clamped in a retort stand.
  2. Record the starting temperature of the water.
  3. Place food sample on mounted needle.
  4. Ignite the food sample using a Bunsen burner.
  5. Hold the burning food sample under the boiling tube of water until completely burned – it may be necessary to relight the food sample.
  6. Record the final temperature of the water.
  7. Record results in a table.
  8. Calculate the change in temperature caused by the burning food sample.
  9. Repeat steps 1- 8 with this food type to increase reliability.
  10. Calculate the average change in temperature for this food type.
  11. Calculate the energy released by this food type using this equation: Energy released (J) = mass of water (g) x rise in temperature (°C) x 4.2
  12. Repeat steps 1-8 with different food types for comparison.