Category: Edible Science

Fun science activities you can make in the kitchen, and eat afterwards. Yum!

What happens when you add pineapple to jelly / Jello? Fun edible science experiment for kids!

Taste testing the jelly

Have you noticed on your packet of jelly (or Jell-O as my North American friends call it), that there’s usually a small note that says “Do not add fresh pineapple, kiwi fruit or paw paw as jelly will not set.” Well, we noticed, and of course, we became intrigued!

But turning our curiosity into a pineapple & jelly science experiment was actually my 10 year old daughter Jewel’s idea. I suspect she:
a) wanted to make jelly
b) was intrigued by the warning label on the box, and
c) thought that suggesting a science experiment would be a good persuasive argument for why she should be allowed to make (and eat) a sweet treat! (She’s been learning about persuasive arguments at school…)

Well, she does know how best to convince me. 🙂

 

Suitable for

Playing with food is fun for all ages, especially if it ends in deliciousness! With slight modifications, this activity could work for anything from preschoolers or tweens!

These instructions below are for older kids, but if you did want to try this with little ones, you could modify by using ‘hot to touch’ (rather than boiling) water and cutting fruit and candy for them.

Making jelly

But first, let me clarify something that can be a little confusing. What we call jelly in Australia, is the same thing that North Americans call jello (or Jell-O). So, when I say jelly, I’m referring to jelly as a jiggly dessert, and not jelly as a spreadable fruit preserve (which. incidentally, Australians call jam). OK? Sorry about that, it’s an Australian / American / British English language thing…

Anyhoo, onto the experiment! 

How to experiment with jelly and fruit (and candy)

Read More What happens if you add Pineapple to Jelly (or Jell-O)?

What’s fizzier: Limeade or Orangeade? Try this fun kitchen science experiment to find out. It’s chemistry you can sip!

Orangeade and Limeade drinks kids can make

We had so much fun making old-fashioned lemonade last week, that we ran out of lemons! But it got us thinking – can you use a similar acid-base reaction to make fizzy drinks with other citrus fruits? We had some limes and oranges in our fruit bowl, so we decided to find out!

We happened to do this in our backyard, as it was a warm autumn day and we’re trying to make the most of the sunshine. But you can totally do this in your kitchen too – actually, it would make a fun rainy day activity for those days when you’re stuck indoors…
 

Suitable for

Comparing the fizziness of homemade drinks is a fun kitchen science experiment that you could try with preschoolers, kindergarteners and primary school aged kids. My daughter Bumble Bee was 7.5 years old when we gave this a go.

 

How to make fizzy Limeade and Orangeade, and how to turn it into a science experiment

Ingredients

Ingredients to make Orangeade and Limeade

  • Limes (or other citrus fruit)
  • Oranges (or other citrus fruit)
  • Baking Soda
  • Sugar
  • Iced water
  • two matching glasses
  • Basic kitchen supplies (knife, chopping board, juicer, teaspoon, paper straws)

Note: Baking soda is also called bicarb soda, bicarbonate of soda, sodium bicarbonate, and can be found in the baking aisle of your local grocery store. Baking powder is not the same as baking soda, and should not be used as a substitute in this recipe – unless you want to make a comparison of baking soda and baking powder part of the experiment of course!

Making limeade and orangeade for kids

What to do

We followed the same basic steps that we used when we made our fizzy lemonade earlier, except that this time, we used two different types of citrus juice, and we focused on creating a fair test to see the difference in the results between the two.

1. Cut a lime and an orange in half. (We used different knifes to prevent cross-contamination, or you could use the same knife if you washed it in between). Optional: Cut a slice of lime and orange, and set aside to use later as garnish.

Juicing half a lime

2. Juice the lime and pour into a glass. Take a small sip to taste. It’s sour!

Pouring freshly squeezed orange juice

3. Wash the juicer (to prevent cross-contamination), and then juice the orange. Pour some of the orange juice into a second glass, stopping when you have the same quantity of juice as the juice in the lime glass. We want the volume of liquid in both glasses to be the same, as that isn’t the variable that we’re testing. Take a small sip of the left over juice – hopefully you’ll notice that it’s sweeter than the lime juice, but still ‘citrus-y’.

Adding baking soda

4. Add the same amount of baking soda to each glass. (We added 1/4 teaspoon as this is the smallest measuring spoon we have, but 1/8 teaspoon would probably have tasted better for this volume of liquid. But, for the sake of the experiment, it doesn’t really matter exactly how much you add, as long as you add the same amount to each glass).

Making fizzy limeade and lemonade

5. Watch the juice in each glass fizz, foam and bubble! Take note of the differences between the two glasses. Which one fizzes higher? Is there a difference in the time that they fizz for?

6. Have a sip from each glass. How has the taste changed?

Adding water

Sipping limeade and orangeade

7. With the ‘experiment’ part of the project is now finished, but you can try adding some iced water and sugar to each glass to see if you can turn them into a tasty drink.

Making limeade and orangeade

To be honest, Bumble Bee didn’t really love the taste of her limeade and orangeade drinks, but she did like doing the experiment! Interestingly she did like lemonade we made earlier – probably the reason why most people make lemonade instead of limeade or orangeade!

If you’re wondering which juice ‘won’ on the fizziness factor, check out this video to see all the action!
 

 

(Note: you might notice that Bumble Bee used the same straw to stir the two drinks – she should have used two straws to avoid cross-contamination. But she did it too quickly, before I could point it out! Next time I’ll make sure to remind her about this beforehand…)

Fun facts

Conducting a ‘fair test’ is one of the most important things in doing primary school science experiments. A fair test, is a test where you change only one variable at a time, and keep all other aspects of the experiment equal. In this experiment, the variable that we changed was the type of juice that we used. We kept the size of the glass, the quantity of the juice and the amount of baking soda the same. By changing just one variable at a time, you can be sure exactly what caused any difference in the results.

An acid is something that has a low pH. Vinegar, buttermilk, yoghurt, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, chocolate and honey are all ‘acids’. A base is something that is alkaline, or has a high pH. Baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) is the most common base that we use in cooking. When you combine an acid and a base (in the presence of liquid), a chemical reaction occurs that creates carbon dioxide gas (CO2). This chemical reaction can be used to add bubbles to fizzy drinks.

Fizzy limeade and orangeade - drinkable science for kids

Please note…

All kids’ activities on this blog assume attentive adult supervision. Parents and carers will need to judge whether a particular activity is appropriate their child’s age and skill level. Click here for more information.

Mixing together pantry ingredients is generally a safe way to explore chemical reactions with kids, however, please don’t let kids eat baking soda in its concentrated form (ie, don’t let kids eat plain baking soda by the spoonful) as it can cause toxicity if too much is swallowed. It is safe to consume when used appropriately and mixed with other ingredients.

Kids knife skills vary – use your own discretion as to whether you would like your child to try using a sharp knife, or if you would like to pre-cut the limes and oranges for them.

 
Fizzy limeade and orangeade science for kids

You can find more tasty experiments on our edible science activities page, including:

You can always subscribe to our newsletter, to receive all our latest activities straight in your Inbox. We’d love to have you join us!

How to make real old-fashioned lemonade from scratch, that really bubbles! Fun edible (or drinkable) science project for kids.

Make your own Fizzy Lemonade - a tasty science project for kids. GSK

I’ve been wanting to make homemade lemonade with the kids for AGES! It’s one of those classic “must-do” childhood activities, and if you make yours with an acid-base reaction like we did, it also doubles as an impressive & tasty science demonstration.

There are different ways you can add bubbles to (or carbonate) drinks. One way is to use something like a soda stream which forces carbon dioxide gas (Co2) from a pressurised cylinder into drinks, making them fizzy. Another way is to produce an acid-base chemical reaction, which creates the carbon dioxide from within the drink. That’s what we’ve done with our homemade lemonade recipe here. And the best bit is that our recipe doesn’t require a fancy soda stream machine – it uses common pantry items that you probably already have at home.

We’ve played around with acid-base chemical reactions in the kitchen before, like when we made Anzac biscuits, or our Violet Crumble honeycomb bars, and let’s not forget our homemade sherbet! There’s something so impressive about watching things froth up and bubble, especially when you get to taste them afterwards.

Our lemonade recipe will taste a little different to the store-bought lemonades that you might be more used to. Fair-warning that the baking soda does have a slightly soapy after-taste. But if you add enough sugar (!), and if your kids enjoy the process, then the results are certainly impressive and memorable . We made two glasses of lemonade, (reducing the quantity of baking soda in our second glass, until we found our ‘sweet spot), and my kids are asking to make more today, so I think that means it was a winner.

Drinking homemade lemonade

Suitable for

Tasty science is fun for any age! You could try this from preschoolers through to primary school aged kids – Bumble Bee was 7.5 years old when we did this at home.

Younger kids will be fascinated by all the bubbles in this demonstration, and it can start to develop their understanding of acid base reactions, and that ‘chemicals’ can occur naturally and be useful in cooking!

Older kids might like to turn this into an experiment (perhaps by studying the effect of varying the baking soda quantities) using the scientific method: form a hypothesis, create a fair test, by changing just one variable, and record results. They can share their findings in the comments below!

How to make fizzy lemonade - a tasty kids science project

Please note…

Mixing together pantry ingredients is a safe and fun way to explore chemical reactions with kids. The ingredients used here are all generally taste-safe, however, please don’t let kids eat baking soda in its concentrated form (ie, don’t let kids eat plain baking soda by the spoonful please). Baking soda is OK to taste once it’s with the other ingredients in the lemonade.

Kids knife skills vary – use your own discretion as to whether you would like your child to try using a sharp knife, or if you would like to pre-cut the lemons for them.

All kids’ activities on this blog require attentive adult supervision. Parents and carers will need to judge whether a particular activity is appropriate their child’s age and skill level. Click here for more information.

How to make old-fashioned lemonade that really fizzes

How to make Old-Fashioned Lemonade

Read More How to make Fizzy Old-Fashioned Lemonade

Create cool mushroom spore prints! Fun nature science activity that kids can do at home.

How to make a mushroom spore print - nature science for kids

Did you know you can make a natural spore print from a mushroom? Like, really easily? So awesome!

Suitable for

Try this as a nature science activity for preschoolers or kindergarteners. My 4.5 year old daughter Bumble Bee thought this was the coolest thing ever!

Older kids might also like to try scraping off some spores and studying them under a microscope afterwards.

How to make a mushroom spore print

You can actually make a spore print with any mushroom, and apparently different mushrooms have different coloured spores and create different patterns, which is so awesome.

We decided to use a large field mushroom (also called portobella or open cap mushroom) since we’d bought one from the store earlier that day.

We used:

  • a large field mushroom
  • a sharp knife
  • a piece of white paper
  • water
  • hairspray

Step 1: Buy a mushroom that has its gills mostly protected (or if its gills are exposed, try to choose one that’s as fresh as possible).

Note: if you’re going to pick a wild mushroom, don’t eat it unless you know its not poisonous! And please wash your hands carefully afterwards.

Field mushroom

Step 2: Cut off the lower portion of the mushroom, exposing the gills. This should also ensure that the stem is flush with the underside.

If it’s a store-bought mushroom, see if your kids will snack on the off-cuts. Bumble Bee thought it was delicious! (Somehow food always tastes better when you’re playing with it, don’t you think?)

Cutting the rim off a field mushroom

Step 3: Place the top section of the mushroom gill-side down on a piece of paper.  (We used regular printer paper, but I think slightly thicker paper would have been better. We’ll try that next time.)

Step 4: Add a few drops of water to the top of the mushroom cap to encourage the spores to drop. Cover with an upside-down box, and set it aside somewhere where it won’t be disturbed. Leave overnight.

Add a few drops of water to the top of the mushroom

Step 5: The next day, gently lift the box and the mushroom, and you should see a beautiful spore print on the paper underneath!

Mushroom spore print

Each individual spore is incredibly teeny tiny, but on mass they look really impressive. I love the way you can clearly see the shape of the gills. Isn’t it fascinating!

Mushroom spore print - fun nature science for kids

If you want to preserve your spore print, you can spray it with hairspray and let dry.

Or if you’d rather study the spores under a microscope, you can scrape off some of the spores with a needle, and place the spores on a microscope slide. Place a drop of water on the spores and cover with a cover slip. (We haven’t tried this yet – but I’m super keen to do this next time!)

Biology for kids - making mushroom spore prints

Depending on how hot and humid your house was overnight, you might even be able to eat the rest of the mushroom! Mmmm, grilled mushroom on toast anyone?

Making field mushroom spore prints

 Mushroom Facts

Mushrooms are part of a larger group of organisms known as fungi. Fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants.

Most fungi reproduce by releasing tiny spores that then germinate (sprout) and grow into a new fungus.

Mushroom spores are tiny, and can only be seen individually with a microscope. On a mature mushroom, thousands of spores can grow on just one gill!

Different mushrooms have different coloured spores, Mushroom spores can be white, brown, black, or many shades in between!

Find more information about making spore prints from different types of mushrooms here.

Make a mushroom spore print - nature science for kids

This only the second time we’ve tried making a spore print. So far we’ve found it a fun and easy process. It’s making me keen to try making spore prints from different types of mushrooms, and maybe even make a mushroom spore print craft! Stay tuned!

Nature science - make a mushroom spore print

We’ve got lots more ideas on our Nature Science Activities page, including:

You might also like to follow our Go Science Kids and Fun Science for Kids boards on Pinterest.

And, of course, you can always subscribe to our newsletter, to receive all our latest activities straight in your Inbox. We’d love to have you join us!

How to make butter and buttermilk from cream: an easy food science project for kids.

Making Butter - kitchen science for kids
I find food science fascinating. I love that a basic ingredient can change depending on how you treat it, or what other ingredients you combine it with. It’s like a chemistry class, except using basic household supplies, and you usually get to enjoy tasting what you made afterwards!

Luckily my kids are mini-foodies and are as fascinated with where food their food comes from as I am.

But when I asked my kids where butter came from, they were a bit stumped.

“From cows?” my 6 year old daughter Jewel guessed.

“Well, yes, butter is a dairy product, and it’s made from cows’ milk, or actually, from the cream that settles on top of the milk. But how do you actually turn cream into butter?”

Jewel wasn’t sure, so we decided to try this “making butter activity” to find out.

Suitable for

I’d recommend this food science project for preschoolers (3-4 year olds), and kindergarten / early primary school kids (5-6 year olds). It’s a great way to learn where our food comes from. My kids were 6 and almost 4 years old when we first tried this at our home.

I’ve also included some extension ideas for older kids to try below.

Making butter - food science for kids

How to make butter and buttermilk from cream

Ingredients

  • fresh cream (we used 250ml / 1 cup / 8 fl. oz.)
  • sea salt (optional)
  • electric beater (or hand beater)
  • bowls, sieve, baking paper

Method

  1. Pour the cream into the large bowl. Taste it. Observe it. What colour is it? Is it a liquid or a solid?
  2. Beat the cream for a few minutes until it thickens into whipped cream. Taste it. Observe it. Does it behave like a liquid or a solid now? Guess why?
  3. Continue to beat the cream until it separates into butter and buttermilk. This should only take an extra minute and is fascinating! Taste it. Observe it. What colour is the butter? What colour is the buttermilk? Which is a liquid and which is a solid? Why did it separate like that? (If you’re not sure yourself, see our explanation below).
  4. Strain off the buttermilk into the smaller bowl and keep in the fridge. You can use this to make delicious fluffy pancakes tomorrow morning!
  5. Combine the butter into a ball. Knead and rinse under cold water to remove any extra buttermilk (to prevent your butter becoming rancid).
  6. Mix through a pinch of salt if you wish (it improves the flavour, and acts as a preservative).
  7. Enjoy your homemade butter on fresh bread!
  8. Wrap remaining butter in baking paper, and store in fridge. It should keep for a few days.

Here are my daughters Jewel (6 years old) and Bumble Bee (almost 4 years old) whipping the fresh cream.

Beating the cream

The cream is just starting to thicken…

Beating cream

And then, once it’s gone past the ‘whipped cream stage’, begins to turn into  butter. You can clearly see a colour and texture change, with the yellow butter separating from the white buttermilk. (The colour change is especially amazing – how can yellow butter appear from cream?)

Butter separating from the buttermilk

A few more seconds of whipping, and the butter starts to clump together.

Making homemade butter

Strain off the buttermilk (and save for later). Then rinse the butter under cold water. Add salt if you wish.

Straining off the buttermilk

Ta da! Butter for your bread, and buttermilk for your pancakes the next morning…

Edible science - making butter

Food Science

When a cow is first milked, it’s milk is very creamy. This creamy milk is a “colloid,” a substance in which small, insoluble particles are suspended throughout another substance. In this case, those insoluble particles are actually little globules of fat, distributed in a water-based solution.

In the olden days, farmers would let this creamy milk sit for a few hours until it separated, with the (less dense) cream rising to the top, and the (more dense) milk below. The cream could then be skimmed off. Nowadays this separation process is sped up, using a very cool-sounding centrifugal separator machine. The end result of separated milk and cream is still the same.

Cream contains lots of tiny fat molecules within a water-based solution. When you whip cream, a number of things happen. Firstly, you force air into the cream. Secondly, you break the fragile shell around the fat molecules, which causes some of the fat molecules to clump together, forming larger and larger molecular clumps. At this point, not all of the fat molecules are stuck together – some of the fat molecules have instead clumped to tiny pockets of air. This is what creates the foam effect of fluffy whipped cream, which is delicious with fresh strawberries.

If you continue to whip the whipped cream, more and more of the fat molecules clump together, releasing the air pockets. This causes the internal structure, which until now had been able to hold the fat and water components together, to collapse, dramatically releasing the watery component as buttermilk.

Somewhat confusingly, buttermilk is actually lower in fat than ‘regular’ milk. It’s also more acidic, which is why it reacts with the baking soda in pancake batter, creating carbon dioxide bubbles and the fluffiest pancakes ever. I’m totally going to have to do a pancake science experiment next!!

Making homemade butter and buttermilk from cream - kitchen science for kids

Extension Ideas: Older kids (and adults!) might like to experiment a little. Try some of these variations:

  • How much time does it take to turn cream into butter? Does temperature affect this?
  • Measure out the ratios of cream to butter and buttermilk produced. Is this ratio the same each time? If you wanted a set amount of butter or buttermilk, how much cream would you need?
  • Look for other types of cream such as whipping cream, heavy cream, double cream, clotted cream. Pay attention to the fat content percentage. How does the fat content affect the amount of time it takes to make butter, or the ratios of butter to buttermilk produced? How about the taste?
  • See if you can source cream from other mammals, like goat, sheep, water buffalo, or even yak, camel or horse! Do these creams differ in taste, texture or colour? Can you notice similar differences in the butters these creams make?

Making butter - edible science for kids

Note: I should mention that I’m an amateur but keen home scientist, and I gleaned most of the above information from researching several articles on the net. Apologies if I’ve gotten any details incorrect, and please let me know if I have! If you’re interested in more molecular detail about how cream turns into butter, then I recommend referring to this awesome Serious Eats article for some very interesting (and delicious) further reading.

For more “science you can eat” project ideas, check out our edible science page, including:

I also have an edible science Pinterest board, where I pin more ideas I love from all around the web.

And, of course, you can always subscribe to our newsletter to receive fun science activities like this sent straight to your Inbox.

Have you ever sung along to Little Miss Muffet, and wondered what ‘curds and whey’ are? Well, good news! Here’s an easy curds and whey recipe you can make at home with the kids, and it doubles as a fun edible science experiment – yay!

How to make curds and whey

I presume that everyone knows the nursery rhyme, but just to be sure, here’s how it goes…

Little Miss Muffet
sat on a tuffet,
eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider,
who sat down beside her,
and frightened Miss Muffet away.

Little Miss Muffet is one of my 3.5 year old daughter Bumble Bee’s favourites. She sings her heart out! So when I heard that you could actually make your own DIY curds and whey at home, I knew she’d be keen to try it out.
 

Suitable for

This is a great science activity for 3-4 year olds, especially as this age often love singing along to nursery rhymes. My daughter Bumble Bee was 3.5 years old when we did this, and she was able to help with many of the steps involved. 5-6 year olds may be able to do more of the steps independently. Older kids may like to turn this into a true science experiment, by experimenting with different types of milk (raw milk, half and half, skim milk, UHT milk, or goats milk perhaps), or with different types of edible acid (lemon juice or buttermilk can be used instead of vinegar), or with different lengths of draining time, and see how each of these variables affects the results. (And they can earn bonus points if they use the curds to make homemade ricotta-filled cannelloni for dinner!)

Make your own curds and whey - edible science for kids

This post contains affiliate links*. Thanks for your support.

 

How to make Curds and Whey

Curds and whey is the generic name given to curdled milk, which separates into lumps of cheese called curds and a liquid called whey. You can curdle milk in a few different ways, to create different types of cheese. The way that we tried today makes a ricotta-like cheese. (Technically ricotta cheese is made using a combination of regular milk and leftover whey from making another cheese, but since we weren’t making another cheese, we’ve used straight regular milk for our recipe instead.) This is a similar method used to make paneer or queso-blanco cheese as well.
 
Ingredients

  • 2 cups of regular pasteurised whole milk (not UHT)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • paper towel
  • regular kitchen materials, such as saucepan, bowls, measuring jug, measuring spoons, wooden spoon, slotted spoon, colander, fine sieve, cooking thermometer (optional)
  • and a cheeky child to help!

Ingredients to make homemade curds and whey

Method

  1. Line colander with 2 layers of paper towel, and set over a medium sized bowl. (You want a bowl deep enough to contain the liquid, but narrow enough that the colander sits high on top.)
  2. Add milk to saucepan.
  3. Stir continuously as you heat the milk over low heat, stopping just before it reaches 80oC (175oF) on your thermometer (or until the milk looks like it’s about to start simmering). Remove from heat.
  4. Add salt.
  5. Add vinegar. Stir gently for 5 seconds. The milk should separate into lumps of white curds and translucent, slightly yellow-ish liquid whey.
  6. Using a slotted spoon or fine sieve, gently transfer curds to the paper-lined colander. Allow to drain until desired texture is reached.

Bumble Bee helped gather the ingredients. She helped prepare the paper-towel lined colander. She helped pour and measure the milk.

Pouring the full cream milk

I chose to heat and stir the milk myself. Older kids might be able to do this step, but Bumble Bee jiggles around a bit too much to be safe near a stove-top just yet. She happily went off and played, knowing that I would call her back for the next bit.

Checking the temperature of the milk

I took the milk off the heat and added salt, and then Bumble Bee bounced back up onto her stool to help measure out the vinegar.

Adding vinegar to the heated milk

Bumble Bee helped gently stir in the vinegar, and witnessed an awesome chemical reaction as the curds separate from the whey.

Stirring in the vinegar

You’ll notice that Mr GSK is holding Bumble Bee’s arm up with his right hand – that’s to prevent her accidentally lowering her wrist onto the hot saucepan as she stirs. He’s also using his left hand to direct the spoon, as the curds need to be stirred very gently. Bumble Bee’s only 3.5 years old. She doesn’t have the proprioception skills to be able to stir gently and keep her arm up at the same time by herself just yet. But the important thing is that Bumble Bee thinks she’s in charge of the stirring.

We may have sung Little Miss Muffet quite a few times too.

This is what it looks like when the milk has curdled, or separated into curds and whey.

Separating the curds from the whey
Draining off the whey
Homemade curds

We only let ours sit for a few minutes, as Bumble Bee was a tad impatient to try it. And it was… quite nice! It’s not going to win any gold awards for best cheese, but it was pleasant and creamy (albeit with an ever-so-slight vinegar after-taste). A drizzle of honey helped win Bumble Bee over.

Fresh curds with honey drizzled on top
Tasting fresh homemade curds with honey drizzled on top

And by the time each of us had a taste (or two, or three), this is all we had left! I popped it in the fridge for Jewel to try when she got home from school that afternoon.

How to make curds and whey with kids

Honestly, I couldn’t believe how easy this cheese was to make. It took less than half an hour from start to taste, and used just everyday ingredients that we already had at home. I’m thinking this could be a great up-my-sleeve indoor activity for the next rainy day.

The eco-friendly side of me is also loving that we can make this in small batches when we need it, so there’s one less plastic container to buy from the store. It’s also a great way to use up milk that’s approaching it’s expiry date, as ‘old’ milk will actually curdle more easily. (If I want to be super environmentally-friendly, I really should figure out how to make use of the leftover whey – here’s a bunch of suggestions, but I haven’t been game to try any yet!)
 

Why do curds separate from whey?

Milk is made up of water, sugar, proteins (casein and whey proteins), fats and minerals, all held together in a type of mixture called a colloid. A colloid is a mixture which won’t settle out over time (like water and sand would) and can’t be separated by normal filtering.

Normally the protein molecules repel each other, but if the pH of their solution drops, the casein proteins suddenly attract each other, which causes them to clump together and form a new substance called curds, in a process called curdling. The liquid that’s left over is called whey.

The pH of milk can drop in a number of ways. In our recipe, we’ve dropped the pH by adding an acid (vinegar) which kick-starts the curdling process. Heat also speeds up the reaction.

Spoonfuls of fresh curds

If you’d like to read about recipe variations, I liked this post from The Food Lab where he tries out a bunch of different methods to make ricotta and documents the results. (I’m intrigued about trying this in the microwave next!) And in case you’re confused about where the recipe actually is at the end of the post (like I was), here it is here.
 
 
You can find more food science projects for kids here, including:

  • This sherbet recipe, which is really easy for even the littlest kids to make, and they can feel the acid base fizzy chemical reaction happening on their tongue.
  • Anzac biscuits are both fun to make and delicious, and there’s an awesome frothy reaction in the process.
  • You could make edible glass that shatters just like the real thing, and learn about how glass is made, and why it’s transparent.
  • Honeycomb is always a winner, with or without chocolate drizzled on top. (My vote is for with!)

How to make Curds and Whey - edible science project for kids

I pin all our projects on our Go Science Kids pinterest board, and I have another pinterest board dedicated to all the awesome edible science projects I’ve found around the web.
 

Follow Danya Banya | Go Science Kids’s board Go Science Kids on Pinterest. Follow Danya Banya | Go Science Kids’s board Yum! Edible Science Activities on Pinterest.

* This post contains affiliate link(s). An affiliate link means I may earn a commission, referral fees or advertising fees if you make a purchase through my link, without any extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little project afloat. Thank you for your support.