Comparing the Effectiveness of Food Preservatives; Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Metabisulfite

In this experiment, the preservation efficiency of sodium benzoate, potassium metabisulfite, and a control group were compared while being stored at varying temperatures. The pH levels of kosher dill pickles containing each preservative type and ones lacking any preservative were measured prior to exposing the individual samples to the temperature variance. After being exposed to the temperature change for a period of one hour, the pH levels of the samples were measured a second time and the change in pH level was determined. Two-sample t tests compared the significance of the pH changes at temperature levels of 22 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius. The statistical treatment results revealed that there was no significant difference between the pH changes of the three populations at room temperature. The second portion of the statistical treatment tested the preservation efficiency of sodium benzoate, potassium metabisulfite, and the control group at the incubator temperature of 35 degrees Celsius. Overall, the statistical evidence proves that sodium benzoate preservative and the control group were more effective than the potassium metabisulfite preservative. However, no significant difference between means was apparent when the sodium benzoate population was compared to the control group.

Research Done By:

Frank Kwarcinski
Sterling Heights High School

Andrei Taut
Sterling Heights High School