Construction of Variegated Disaccharide “J” Tubes

Purpose: To observe the effect of torsion on the visible configuration of certain groups of macromolecules.


  • 400 mL beaker
  • Paraffin coated paper
  • Graduated cylinder
  • Bunsen burner
  • stirring rod
  • ring stand set-up


  • Sucrose
  • Vegetable oil
  • H20
  • Potassium hydrogen tartrate
  • Plant starch

  • Mentha peperita extract
  • Edible pigments


1.    Fill a 400 ml beaker (use the food beakers provided only), with 35 ml of liquid corn syrup.   Then, fill the beaker up to the 200 ml with granulated sugar.

2.  Using a spoon, measure and weigh the following on to cupcake papers, .5 g of cream of tartar.

3.  Add the cream of tartar o the beaker and then add 3 tablespoons of water.   Thoroughly mix with a wooden stirring rod.  

4.    When a uniform mixture is achieved, subject the mixture to intense heat from bunsen burner. When the mixture begins to boil (in about 5 minutes) lower the flame. During the operation avoid stirring because any external agitation will be detrimental to the desired effect.

5.    After boiling for 1 minute,  turn off the heat and carefully remove the burner using a oven mitt.  

6.    Add one drop of peppermint extract and stir.    

7.  Pour one-half of the mixture onto the paraffin-coated paper which has been lubricated with vegetable oil.

8.  To the portion of the mixture remaining in the beaker, add 4 drops of red pigment. Now pour the colored mixture onto another piece of lubricated paraffin paper.

9.  Clean off beaker (wash with soap and water) until no sugar remains.  Return clean spoon and beaker to the middle food table (do not put away in cupboards).  

10.    When the mixture has cooled to a tolerable heat (about 10 minutes), roll into long snakes.

11.  Continue to stretch with both hands until the desired tensile strength is reached. Divide each color into four  inch segments. When ready, combine one non-pigmented segment with a pigmented segment.

12.  Place the distortions on a clean section of paraffin-coated paper and shape them into “J” conformations.

Analysis: Perform a critical taste test comparing your product with a commercially synthesized product.