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pH Concept

Outlines how the acidity of water is measured and what makes solutions acidic or basic.

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In a Pickle

In a Pickle

Credit: sashafatcat
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sashafatcat/3190040491/sizes/o/in/photostream/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Some like their sour flavor. Others like their crunch. Whatever the reason, pickles are a favorite of many people.

The Back Story

  • Pickles—and the process of pickling—have been around for thousands of years.
  • Why? Pickling is a way of preserving foods. Before people had refrigerators and freezers to keep foods from spoiling, they had pickling.
  • Understanding why pickling preserves foods depends on knowing a little bit of chemistry.
  • You can learn how foods are pickled and the chemistry involved by watching this video: http://www.nbclearn.com/chemistrynow/cuecard/52647 
  • Credit: Marcin Floryan
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Og?rki_w_trakcie_kiszenia.jpg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Pickling food gives a sour and salty taste [Figure2]


Show What You Know

With the link below, learn more about the chemistry of pickles and pickling. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What are pickles?
  2. What are two ways of making pickles?
  3. What is pH, and what does it have to do with pickles?
  4. Why do pickles taste sour?
  5. Why does soaking food in brine make it crunchy?

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    Image Attributions

    1. [1]^ Credit: sashafatcat; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sashafatcat/3190040491/sizes/o/in/photostream/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
    2. [2]^ Credit: Marcin Floryan; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Og?rki_w_trakcie_kiszenia.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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