Information about Use tea to detect iron in food with Fizzics Education | Kids Science Experiments

Detect Iron In Food With Tea

Detect Iron In Food With Tea

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You Will Need:

Five tea bags.

One litre of hot water.

Different food samples, with 100g or material each.

Coffee filters and disposable cups.

One blender.

Detect Iron in Food with tea Science Experiment - setup_materials

Place the tea bags in the hot water and allow the tea to brew over 10 minutes. You want it strong!


Blend the food samples with water.

3 Detect Iron in Food with tea Science Experiment - filtering wheetbix filtrate

Filter the puree using the coffee filters. Collect the filtrate (the liquid) in the disposable cups.


Slowly add the tea brew to the filtrate in the cups whilst stirring. You may see a black solid form

Why Does This Happen?

Tea contains tannins, chemical compounds found in plants. Tannins are used by the leather making industry to tan leather, as well as to influence the taste of wine.

Tannins also bind to iron in a process called chelation. If there was iron present in your food you would have found a tiny amount of a black solid (known as a precipitate). You need iron to make red blood cells. If you drink too much tea you may stop iron in your food being absorbed by your body!

Drinking tea is good for you, but try to avoid drinking tea when eating if you know you’re low in iron.

Learn more!


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