Zeytin 2017 Projected Chemistry Module

The Olive And Its Precious Oil 
Pat O’Hara and Rich Blatchly

Key Questions

Unit 1: The Tree
What is unique about an olive grove?
What does an olive tree need to grow?
What is the difference between wild and cultivated olives? 

Unit 2:  The Oil
How is the oil extracted from the fruit? 
What are the standards used to evaluate the oil?
How can we measure defects in the oil?

Unit 3: Our Health
Why are the olives and some olive oils so bitter? 
Where does the bitter flavor come from?
Is bitter the same as pungent?
Are the bitter or pungent compounds good for us?
What are some of the other health benefits of olive oil?

Unit 4: Our Community
What do local villagers and neighbors think we might do for them?

Unit 1: Grooving in a grove.  (Visit to Köstem museum if time permits):
·      Can we conclude how this olive grove started?  What data should we gather, and what should we do with it?
·      What factors in this grove are good or bad for the growing tree?
·      What are the types of harvest activities that are allowed by this grove?
Unit 2: Pressing in a press, testing when a good fat goes bad (each group must choose one olive oil from a store, grove, or market to test):
·      Model kits - 3 groups make a fatty acid (hexanoic acid) and 1 group makes glycerol and then have four groups coordinate to put the four molecules together to make TAG. Next – can you show breakdown of TAG?
·      Alizarin yellow test with 4 unknown oils collected on Day 1 and 4 standards (2 test tubes per group (one unknown plus one standard - spread standards over 4 groups). Alizarin Yellow and sodium hydroxide stock.
·      Blueprint test for phenols, each group checks their olive oils and a positive (phenol) and a negative (mineral oil) control.  Groups can also test vitamin E, and three other oils from seeds

Unit 3: All in good taste: comparing flavor molecules - bitter (caffeine), sweet (candy), salty, pungent-(ibuprofen):
·      Organoleptic testing.
·      How do chemists think about molecules?
·      What are the health effects of olive oil, and how do we know?
Smart Phone
Measuring tape
Pen and Paper 
Molecular Models
Alizarin Yellow (standards for 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 5% FFA)
Blueprint Reaction: Ferric Chloride and Potassium Ferricyanide (positive – phenol and negative – mineral oil controls)
Projector, screen, black board
Olive Oils and three other seed oils

Blatchly, R. A., Delen, Z., O’Hara, P.B.; (2014) J. Chem. Ed. (article, six labs)
Making Sense Of Olive Oil: Simple Experiments to Link Sensory Observations with Underlying Chemistry DOI 10.1021/ed300557r
Copies available: Blatchly, O’Hara, Delen Nircan, The Chemical Story of Olive Oil: From Grove to Table, Royal 


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