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Biology Core Practical:

How much Vitamin C does fruit juice contain?


The purpose of my experiment is to investigate the exact amount of Vitamin C

content in fruit juice. In order to do this I will use liquids that contain Vitamin C, fruit
juice, which is a strong reducing agent and use it to decolorize the dark blue DCPIP


My Hypothesis is that the citrus fruit drinks such as orange or lemon will contain
more Vitamin C than non citrus fruit drinks such as apple or blackcurrant.

Null Hypothesis:

My null hypothesis is that the citrus and non citrus fruit drinks both have the same
amount of Vitamin C within each drink.

What will I be measuring?

I will be measuring the amount of fruit juice required to decolourise the DCPIP
solution in cm3. I will also be working out the average of juice required to
decolourise, and the Vitamin C content of the juice.


During the experiment I will be using an array of items, these include:

• A range of fruit juices which is essential to the experiment as I need to

measure the vitamin c content in each type of juice.
• Standard 1% vitamin c solution which I will be using as a baseline to compare
with the Vitamin C content of each type of fruit juice.
• Measuring Pipette and burette which is essential in accurately measuring the
fruit juice and the DCPIP solution.
• Standard Laboratory glassware and apparatus which is needed in order to have
a place to contain the liquids used in the experiment.
• DCPIP which is a dark blue dye used to be decolorized by the vitamin c in
order to measure the content of Vitamin C in the juice.
Independent Variable:

The Independent variable in my experiment will have to be the different types of fruit
juices that I will be testing in order to see if the fruit juice contains the amount of
Vitamin C that it states to have in the label.

Dependent Variable:

The dependent variable in my experiment will have to be the amount of fruit juice
needed to decolourize the DCPIP solution which will be different for each type of
fruit juice.

Control Variable:

The control variable for this experiment will have to be the amount DCPIP that I use
for each type of fruit juice as they need to be kept the same in order for the results to
be more accurate and valid. Another control variable will have to be the colour of the
fruit juice for example blackcurrant juice will be difficult as the colour of the juice is
as dark as the colour of the DCPIP solution so noticing any changes will be difficult.

Risk Assessment

Hazard Risk (1-5) 1 – Lowest, Prevention Emergency

5 – Highest Taken Action/Control
The DCPIP 3 By wearing an If the DCPIP stains
Solution staining Apron and your skin quickly
skin or getting into goggles it will wash it in cold
peoples eyes. prevent the water.
solution getting
into peoples
clothes or eyes.
Glassware 2 Carefully If the glassware
breaking. handle the breaks carefully put
equipment all of the pieces
into the bin.
Vitamin C or Fruit 3 By wearing an If juice gets into
juices getting into Apron and your eyes quickly
peoples eyes. goggles it will alert the teacher
prevent the and they will tell
solution getting you what to do
into peoples next.
clothes or eyes.


1. Use a 1 ml pipette and a pipette filler to prepare a test tube with 1 ml of blue
DCPIP solution. Prepare a few in a batch.
2. Fill a 5 ml measuring pipette with the standard Vitamin C solution.
3. Slowly and gently add the Vitamin C solution into the DCPIP test tube drop
by drop. Hold the dropper vertically. Make sure that the drop size is constant
in order to make the results more accurate.
4. After adding one drop, do not shake the contents.
5. Stop dropping when the blue colour disappears.
6. The end result is taken when the dark blue solution suddenly becomes
7. Record the number of drops of Vitamin C solution in cm3 required to
decolourise the DCPIP solution.
8. Repeat the experiment 3 times for each fruit juice.
9. Enter the results into an appropriate table
10. Repeat the experiment for other fruit juices.
11. Rinse the dropper/syringe with water and then a new fruit juice to reduce
contamination and ensure accuracy.


Juice tested Volume of juice required to Average Vitamin C content of

decolourise 1 cm3 of 0.1% of juice juice/mg cm–3
DCPIP solution/cm3 required
1% of Vitamin C 1ml 1ml 1ml 1ml 10mg
Apple Juice 4ml 2ml 3ml 3ml 1.14mg
Orange Juice 3ml 3ml 2ml 2.66ml 1.01mg
Volume of Juice required to decolourise 1cm3 of
0.01% DCPIP solution/cm3


Amount of Liquid (ml)

2.5 1% of Vitamin C
Apple Juice
Orange Juice


1 2 3

When reading my results my hypothesis of citrus based fruit drinks containing more
vitamin c than non citrus based fruit drinks is inconclusive because although the apple
juice that I have tested contained slightly more vitamin c than the orange juice it
might be just that one particular brand of juice. The results maybe different for each
brand of juice and also the freshly squeezed juices might have more Vitamin C than
factory produced juice which have added additives in it.

However by looking at my results you can see that I was wrong in hypothesis with the
juices that I have used because the non citrus juice, apple, contained more Vitamin C
than the citrus based fruit juice orange.

I used a 1% concentration of Vitamin C in order for it to be a baseline on how much

Vitamin C fruit juices are supposed to have, as you can see 1ml of the concentration
contains more Vitamin C than 3ml of the apple juice that I used for the experiment.
This may raise some question on the advertising used or the claims that the company
makes about their fruit juice containing a lot of Vitamin C.

Reliability and Validity:

With every experiment even when special measure is taken there will always be a
chance that the data recorded is anomalous and that is why whenever we got an
anomalous result we decided to repeat the procedure. However people should take
care to only note down accurate, reliable and valid data in order for the results to
make sense. This is why we repeated the experiment two more time for each fruit
juice to ensure that the data recorded was accurate, reliable and valid. We also made
sure that there was only one independent variable in order to minimise confusion and
to make sure that our results became more valid.

The apparatus was washed with each use in order to minimise the chances of
contamination and to make sure that our results were accurate, reliable and valid. By
using measuring pipettes and measuring beakers we ensured that our results were
accurate and valid.


Like reliability and validity all experiments have a chance of encountering errors it is
up to the group to ensure that this chance is as small as possible. Systematic errors
have occurred during the experiment for example we may have measured the DCPIP
solution inaccurately in order to fix this we made sure that our measuring pipette was
accurate by making sure that it measured in millilitres. We also made sure that our
measuring beakers where measuring the correct volume.

We eliminated the inconsistency of results by using the same measuring droppers,

beakers and other measuring equipment. However random errors may have occurred
in our experiment but we tackled this problem by having everyone in the group
become focused and careful this minimise the amount of errors that will happen
within the experiment.

Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology, Pearson Education Ltd 2008. © University

of York Science Education Group. Activity 1.21

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