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Ok, Im doing this big science fair project and I need to know an answer to this question and Ive looked everywhere! Ok here it is: the project that Im doing has to do with adding food coloring and water to radish plants in little cups and comparing their growth to radish plants fed with water only. I need to know if there has ever been an experiment done like this before and if so, what where his/her results? Thank you!
- Lindsay Jackson (age 14)
Tri-North, Bloomington, IN USA
I'm not familiar with any specific experiments that have been done
on this. (But that doesn't mean that no one has done it.) In theory,
the food coloring should have no effect on how the plant grows. But
because of what's called "capilary action," the food coloring will be
sucked into the plant right along with the water. This means that the
plant should appear to be the same color as the food coloring. You may
find it interesting to slice the radishes open afterwards. You should
be able to see the locations of the tubes that the plant uses to draw
water into itself because they will be colored. (You can see this even
better with celery.)
For more information on the effects of food coloring (and other
things used in food) on the growth of plants and animals, you may want
to try contacting the US FDA
and drug administration). They're in charge of making sure that
anything used in food won't hurt people, so they may have more
information on the testing that was performed to prove that food
coloring is safe to eat.
(republished on 07/18/06)
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