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Does Mint Effect The Temperature Of Water?

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adelynn helms

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of Does Mint Effect The Temperature Of Water?

Does Mint Effect The Temperature Of Water?
Does Mint Effect The Temperature Of Water?
-Ethan Helms
Do mints have a cooling effect or is it just false advertising?
If I put mints into warmed water, then it will cool down more than water without mints.
In all of my trials, my hypothesis was correct. The mints increasingly cooled down the temperature of the water.
Does Mint Effect The Temperature Of Water?
-Ethan Helms
-Background Research

For the research, one would naturally learn about mint itself. What is the difference between peppermint and spearmint? Peppermint is a low growing creeping plant that produces a strong scented aromatic oil. Whereas Spearmint grows more upright and does not produce an oil and has a different flavor. The website "http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-mint/" states that mint is a fast growing plant that spreads. You must give it space or grow it in a pot. The plants like frost free climates and damp areas. They are vulnerable to many bugs when the plants are young.

“Ice Breaker Frost” sugar free mints from the Hershey company are the only mints with an intense combination of xylitol, cooling and flavor crystals”says, "http://businesswire.com. Many mints are made of sorbitol, food coloring, aspartame, maltodextrin, cotton seed oil and flavorings. Ice Breaker Frost mints are made of xylitol which is a sugar alcohol and it’s formula is C5H1205. When xylitol dissolves, it has an endothermic reaction, thus cooling the solution. Sorbitol is a sweet-tasting crystalline compound. Aspartame is a very sweet substance found in artificial sweeteners. Maltodextrin is a destrin containing maltose and is often a food additive produced by starch.

James Barnhouse has been a chemist for over 46 years. He does not think that the mints have a cooling property. He believes that the taste of the mints signals a sensation in your brain. He did explain the endothermic heat goes in and exothermic heat goes out. This project is an example of endothermic heat. We talk about the ways temperature can spread. Conduction spreads by direct contact. Convection spreads through fluids, and radiation spreads by electromagnetic waves. Frost is created when there is enough moisture in the air and it is cold enough for little ice crystals to form.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/24490/why-does-mint-make-your-mouth-feel-cold says
that mint has a protein called “Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel Subfamily M Member 8 (TRPM8). This is a type of protein that regulates the movement of ions across the membranes of cells. TRPM8 opens in the presence of cold temperatures which leads to the perception of cold. It also activates with menthol. Menthol is a waxy crystalline organic compound found in peppermint oils. That is what happens in your mouth when you eat mints.

Do mints actually cool the inside of your mouth or is it a sensation in your brain?
If I put mints in a glass of warm water, then the mints will gradually cool the water down.
-Independent: Time.
-Dependent: Temperature of water, amount of mints.
135 Icebreakers Frost mints.
6 glasses of warmed water.
2 thermometers.
Pen and paper for notes.
Stop watch.
Get 2 glasses of warmed water and take the temperature. Record it.
After 5 minutes place 5 mints in one glass.Record both temperatures.
continue this process for 40 more minutes.
Once you reach 45 minutes, you are done. Make sure that you use the cup without mints as a reference to how water can cool by itself.
Repeat steps 1-5 with 2 more trials.
Data Tables/ Graph
Data Tables

I completed the experiment with mints and water. I added 5 mints every 5 minutes to a glass of water to see if the temperature of the water would be lower than a glass sitting with no mints. I did this experiment 3 times.

The last slides are the trials of each experiment. As you may notice, the glasses with the mints added to the water had lower ending temperatures than the glasses without mints. On average, you can see that the glass with the mints had a continual decrease of water temperature. The mints that we used (Ice Breakers Frost)

are advertised as the only mints that contain a chemical named Xylitol. When Xylitol dissolves it has a endothermic reaction which has a cooling effect on the solution. I noticed that there was more heat on the top of the glass than on the bottom which created a convection current inside the glass with mints. Below is a graph that shows the average data of all three trials.

I had interviewed my Grandfather for his expert Chemistry knowledge. After the experiment, I contacted him and he could not believe the results. He added the challenge that if I took two glasses and sat them out all night so they became room temperature and then recreated the experiment, that the temperature would not be cooler in the glass with the mints. He thought this because he thought that the glasses from the original experiment were lowering their temperature because I started off at a higher temperature than room temperature. I followed his request, and repeated the experiment. Here is the results.

So as you can see, the mints still had the same cooling effect and still reduced the temperature of water more than a glass sitting at room temperature.

Data Analysis
James Barnhouse,"Chemist"
My hypothesis stated, "If I added mints to a glass of warm water, then the water will cool down." My results matched this data and proved this hypothesis correct. Overall, my data did support my hypothesis. I learned that there is a substance called Xylitol that affects the temperature of liquids when dissolved. At first I thought the cooling effect was a sensation in your brain. Then I realized that it was the Xylitol.
Throughout the trials the data was consistent except for one trial.There was a slight increase in the water temperature with the glass containing the mints. We had many controlled variables such as the time span, amount of water, thermometers, and glasses. I think that this precision added to my accurate results. Our experimental errors that could have effected the outcome are that the thermometers were store bought and may not have been 100% accurate. The water in the glasses started off at slightly different temperatures because I was not able to make them accurately the same. The movement of the thermometers could have stirred up the water thus perhaps creating a convention effect.
If I could improve this experiment, I would use more Scientific thermometers. I would also tried to have the same starting water temperature. I would try to use the powder form of Xylitol instead of the mints Icebreakers Frost. To see if there was a temperature plateau, I would expand the time in the procedure. I could expand this experiment further by exploring the fact that Xylitol is being added to active wear material to help keep athletes cool.
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