Imaginative Teaching Resources & Inspirational Career Ideas from the Chilled Food Industry
Many breakfast cereals advertise that they are a good source of iron –
did you know that you were eating real iron?
Iron is a mineral and we need to eat it so that our bodies can make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen around your body. Most people can get enough of this mineral from their food in a balanced diet. However, some people benefit from having fortified products like breakfast cereals to increase their consumption.
Many breakfast cereals contain iron, and when we eat them, the iron reacts with the acid in our stomachs to make iron(II) chloride which can be absorbed in the digestive process. Annie decided to investigate with her own mini experiments. Have a look at Annie’s video of her experiment (click on the box below) and try it yourself at home.
You will need:
A sample of cereal, a magnet, water and a jug.
What to do:
Crush the cereal, and smooth out on a surface. Glide the magnet over the crushed cereal and look at the surface of the magnet to see if you have collected any iron.
To increase the amount of iron you can extract, put the crushed cereal in water, mix well and put the magnet into the watery mixture. Carefully remove the magnet and look at the surface.
If you wanted to investigate more, you could:
Measure the iron you got from the cereal and compare it to the nutritional table on the packaging to see if the label is correct.
React the iron that you extracted with acids in your home (like vinegar or lemon juice) to see what happens.
Make a model of a red blood cell from salt dough and then paint it.