The Effect of Filter Usage on Arsenic Present in Various Brands of Organic and Inorganic Apple and Grape Juices

Inorganic arsenic is frequently used as a pesticide and wood preservative in the United States. The arsenic is absorbed by plants and consequently is found in juice products. When small amounts of arsenic, such as the amounts found in juice, are consumed over a long period of time arsenic can be harmful to the body and can cause several health problems (“Carcinogen”). The objective of this experiment was to determine if using a homemade filter is a significant way to reduce arsenic levels in various fruit juices. To test this, an arsenic test kit was used to determine the arsenic levels, in parts per billion, in the various brands of organic and inorganic apple and grape juices. The juices were tested before and after the filtration process. The filter was constructed using carbon fish tank filters, medium grain sand, and coffee filters. A matched pairs t Test and descriptive statistics were used to determine the significance of the data found. The matched pairs t Test results were inconclusive because with less than thirty trials, the assumptions of the Central Limit Theorem were not met. Descriptive statistics were then used.

After analysis, it was determined that the filter was effective in lowering the arsenic levels in the juices. Overall, the inorganic apple juice had the highest initial levels of arsenic. The results of this experiment could be applied to the food industry. While companies have filtration processes already, the filter designed in this research can be used for residential use or as less expensive alternatives to current designs. The results indicate that the current filtration processes that juice corporations use have much room for improvement.

Research Done By:

Gretchen Grade
Sterling Heights High School

Sarah Myers
Sterling Heights High School