Beets as a Natural Indicator

Jeremy Sernick Ethan Fivel Henry Laurich Jake Solovy Ryan F.

Introduction

The purpose of our experiment was to test the fruit, beets, as a natural indicator. An indicator's job is to show the level of something, and in this case it was showing the pH level by changing colors; a change in color indicated a change in pH. If it turned red, orange, or yellow, then it was an acid. An acid has a pH of 1-6 and it dissociates to produce H+ and an anion. If it turned blue, green, or purple, then it was a base. A base has a pH of 8-14 and it dissociates to produce OH- and a cation. The household items we tested were soap, vinegar, bleach, and isopropyl alcohol. We predict vinegar and isoproyl alcohol to be acids, and bleach and soap to be bases.

Data

pH (known): 1/color: dark red

pH (known): 3/color: lighter dark red

pH (known): 5/color: red

pH (known): 7/color: light red

pH (known): 9/color: yellowish red

pH (known): 11/color: reddish yellow

pH (known): 13/color: yellow

Substance: Isopropyl alcohol/color: scarlet/final pH: 10

Substance: Bleach/color: yellowish clear/final pH: 14

Substance: Vinegar/color: clear/final pH: 14

Substance: Soap/color: Mango/final pH: 8

Procedure

We determined the color range using the pH because all indicators chemically react with hydrogen or hydroxide ions to give it a unique color. Each indicator, and our was beets, has its own color and its own individual range over which it changes color.