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13 STUDENT HANDOUT THE QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF IRON IN TOTAL CEREAL Objectives 1. To determine how much iron metal is in a sample of Total cereal and whether this is consistent with the manufacturer’s claims. 2. To understand the difference between elements in their elemental states and ionic forms. Introduction Consumers are now asking themselves the all-important question, Just what is in that stuff, anyway! Many people want to know the vitamin and mineral content of foods, as well as which preservatives and colors are present. Most foods are now labeled accordingly to give the relevant information, but is the information accurate? Reading the label on a packet of Total cereal tells us that Total cereal contains 40 mg of potassium per serving. Potassium is an extremely reactive metal, made of potassium atoms that will produce potentially explosive hydrogen gas, H 2 (g) when it comes into contact with water. Imagine your surprise when as a result of pouring milk onto a bowl of Total, it promptly blows up in your face. The information on the packet is misleading. Total cereal does indeed contain potassium, but in the form of potassium ions, K + cations , as opposed to potassium metal. K + ions have very different chemical properties from K metal and will not endanger your life. In fact, they are essential for life. (Note: K + ions must be combined with anions when in the solid state, for example, chloride ions, Cl - ions, to give the compound KCl, potassium chloride.) The only difference between a K atom and a K + cation is that K + cations have one less electron.
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14 The packet label also indicates that Total cereal also contains 100% of the daily-recommended intake of iron. Elemental iron metal is not as reactive as potassium metal and is added to Total
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course C 118 taught by Professor Jillrobinso during the Fall '09 term at Indiana.

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