DIY Science: Iron cereal

  • by National Office
  • 23 August, 2020
DIY Science: Iron cereal

What you need:

  • an ‘iron fortified’ cereal (we used cornflakes)
  • the strongest magnet you can find (two ID badge magnets worked for us)
  • some water and a stick blender

What to do:

  1. Blend about 1/2 cup of cereal with 1 cup of water until the mix is completely smooth.
  2. In a thin walled plastic cup, gently mix the slurry with a plastic spoon while holding the magnet on the side.
  3. After a while you may see some dark black particles collect near the magnet.

What’s happening?

Iron is a crucial part of our diet, essential for oxygen transport in the body among other things. Iron is magnetic so is attracted to magnets.

Adding iron to cereal is one way we can try to improve the nutritional value of foods. The human body can digest iron in this form, thanks to the hydrochloric acid in our stomach.

You should even be able to use the magnet to pull a floating cornflake across some water. Just make sure you fill the little bowl you use to the point of overflowing with a slight bulge of water above the top, otherwise the flake will stay at the edge due to surface tension.

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