Tests for Major Nutrients

Have you ever thought about why your parents ask you to have your food properly? Why they want you to have one full glass of milk daily and finish the whole plate at the breakfast table? If the answer is “No”, let’s just understand here.

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The healthier you eat today will have a striking impact on your health throughout the life. Consumption of nutritious food helps teens and children to grow & develop and perform well in your academics. Proper nutrition helps in preventing teen issues such as obesity, eating disorders, dental cavities and iron-deficiency.

But what are nutrients in actual? Nutrients are essential components of food that are needed by our bodies such as carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, water and dietary fibres.

  • Carbohydrate foods include vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes (beans), fruits, and yoghurtyogurt that are energy-giving food and provides us energy.
  • Protein food includes Egg, cheese, tofu, fish, meat, lentils, yogurt, nuts and seeds that are body-building food and helps in growth and repair of damaged parts of the body.
  • Vitamins and Mineral Food include green vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, and kale), papayas, sweet potatoes, peaches, orange fruits, cantaloupe, apricots, and mangos that are protective food and provides us resistance against diseases.
  • Fibre food includes brown rice, whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts, berries, oatmeal, popcorn, fruits and chia seeds.

But how to check the presence of nutrients in food? We can test the presence of Fats, carbohydrates, proteins by conducting the following tests.

Test for Carbohydrates

The main Carbohydrates found in our body are in the form of Sugar and starch.

  • Take a small quantity of food to be tested on a porcelain tile.
  • Dilute it with 2 drops of water.
  • Put 2-3 drops of iodine solution on it.
  • You will observe the color of the food item into blue-black that indicates the presence of starch in the food.

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Test For Protein

  • Take a small quantity of the food to be tested.
  • Grind the food into powder form by mashing it.
  • Put the powdered food into a test tube
  • Add ten drops of water and two drops of copper sulphate solution into it.
  • You will observe the colour of the mixture into violet that indicates the presence of proteins in the food.

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Test for Fat

  • Take a small quantity of the food to be tested.
  • Wrap the food in a small piece of paper and crush it.
  • Straighten the paper and dry it by keeping it open to the sunlight for a while.
  • You will observe an oily patch on the paper that indicates the presence of fat in the food.

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Practise This Question

Which of the following is an acid-base indicator?