SunButter helps second-grader win Science Fair!

Ty is a second-grader near Houston, Texas who has food allergies, and he and his family love SunButter. Curious about cooking with SunButter, he used it in his school’s science fair–and won first place in his category!

#SunButter helps second-grader win Science Fair!

Ty, his big smile and Science Fair First Place blue ribbon for his SunButter project.

As his mom, who blogs at The Food Allergy Mom, says, “I think Ty cinched his win by being able to personally relate to cooking with food allergies. We’re so proud of him. We now proceed to our school district’s finals on March 24.”

**Update (April 10, 2012) - He won 3rd place at the school district science fair in the 2nd grade division!

#SunButter helps second-grader win Science Fair!

Unexpected results

In true science style, Ty’s project didn’t turn out exactly as expected. Check out his work in the laboratory:

#SunButter helps second-grader win Science Fair!

Ty and his Science Fair project display.

What makes SunButter baked goods turn green?

If you’ve baked with any type of sunflower seed spread, you know SunButter can turn goodies green. That’s because the chlorogenic acid (chlorophyll) in sunflower seeds reacts with baking soda/powder when baked, causing the baked goods to turn green when cooled. Depending on the recipe, reducing the baking soda and powder by 1/3 and adding a splash of lemon juice could neutralize this reaction.

Ty’s science fair project question: Can you use any fruit juice instead of lemon juice?

His hypothesis: Apple, orange, or pineapple juice can replace lemon juice without turning the food green.(We were curious, too, so we sent a jar of SunButter to Ty and his mom for the experiment.)

#SunButter helps second-grader win Science Fair!

Ty mixing up the muffin batter.

Ty’s tasty project

Here’s the procedure he used in the “laboratory”:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Follow this recipe:  In a mixing bowl, mix 2 1/4 cups baking flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  In a separate bowl, mix 2 eggs, 3/4 cup milk, 1 stick butter, 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup SunButter, and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix.  Fill one cupcake pan with mixture and cook 18 minutes at 400 degrees.

3.  Repeat using apple juice.

4.  Repeat using orange juice.

5.  Repeat using pineapple juice.

#SunButter helps second-grader win Science Fair!

Scientist Ty’s color-coded muffin cup system in the lab.

 

#SunButter helps second-grader win Science Fair!

Taking round 1 out of the oven.

Surprising lab report

Ty and his mom were surprised by the results, shown in this lab report:

  FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN 24 HOURS LATER 48 HOURS LATER
NO JUICE No green present in muffin Some small flecks of green present Majority of muffin was green inside and out
LEMON JUICE No green present in muffin Pronounced green in muffin Majority of muffin was green inside and out
APPLE JUICE No green present in muffin Very small flecks of green present Majority of muffin was green inside and out
PINEAPPLE JUICE No green present in muffin Very small flecks of green present Majority of muffin was green inside and out
ORANGE JUICE No green present in muffin Very small flecks of green present Majority of muffin was green inside and out

Ty’s conclusion: Within 48 hours of removing SunButter muffins from the oven, the muffins displayed large amounts of green coloration, regardless of what kind of fruit juice was used.

If baking with SunButter, it is best to serve and/or consume the product shortly after removing it from the oven to avoid the green discoloration caused by the chemical reaction of chlorogenic acid and baking soda/powder.

Way to go, Ty. Good luck at the district science fair!

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