Potato chips in science class

What’s the big deal about high oleic soybean oil? Participants in the summer Science of Food and Fuel workshop learned about how it features lower saturated fat while maintaining 0 grams of trans fat, which may lower cholesterol and support heart health. This matter to today’s consumers. Here’s how Courtney Bockbrader, one of the teachers at the workshop and a GrowNextGen teacher leader, used these concepts with her students:

“I teach at Anthony Wayne High School as a satellite program of Penta Career Center. In my Understanding Food class, we completed the emulsions and browning of potato chips lessons from the Plenish of ways to use oil unit.

“We did the browning of potato chips over two days. On the first day, students washed their potatoes and sliced them using a mandolin slicer. They then put them into cups and submerged them in water. One cup had sugar added to it and one acted as the control.

“On the second day, students used a deep fryer and fried some of each in both conventional soybean oil and Plenish oil. Next, they completed a sensory evaluation of each of the four samples. While waiting for the fryers, students worked in their groups to also complete the emulsions lab. Students mixed their ingredients to make mayo and then were able to taste it using their leftover chips.

“My students were not a fan of the mayo taste, but this activity still worked well to teach chemistry concepts to this class. They did like the potato chips, with the samples using the Plenish oil being the best.”

Bockbrader was a virtual participant in the professional development over the summer. “I really enjoyed having the option to complete this high-quality PD from home. The lessons are easy to follow and have been extremely easy to implement into my agriscience classes.”