Flatulence. Uncomfortable in just about every way imaginable. Stomach Pains. Embarrassment. Awkward. So, let’s talk about it.
We already know through several glucose science experiments that glucose is a sugar that is converted into energy.
Foods that are high in fiber, such as beans or broccoli, can be turned into glucose for energy, but only through a process that includes bacteria in the gut. And those bacteria, well, they can give us gas.
Some people use an over-the-counter product, called Beano, to help prevent gas when eating these fibrous foods. Beano prevents gas by bypassing the bacteria, and instead giving the body the enzymes it needs to directly convert the food into glucose and other digestible sugars.
Today, we’re going to do an experiment to test the effectiveness of Beano on raw versus cooked foods.
- Glucose test strips
- Canned, cooked beans
- Raw beans (soaked in water prior to experiment)
- 2 beakers (50mL or larger)
- Beano or similar product
- Add 5mL of room-temperature water to each beaker.
- Add ½ tablespoon of the raw beans to the first beaker. Add ½ tablespoon of the cooked beans to the other beaker.
- Using the glucose test strips, test for the presence of glucose in each beaker right away. Dip a strip into the solution, wait 3 minutes, then compare to the color chart on the bag.
- Next, add 5 drops of Beano to each beaker.
- Stir both solutions with a clean utensil and be sure to use a different stirring utensil for each beaker to avoid cross-contamination.
- Set a timer for 3 minutes. When the time is up, again, test for glucose in each solution using the glucose test strips following the same procedure as before.
- Repeat step 6.
What produced more glucose: the raw or cooked beans? Why do you think you got these results? What other foods could you use in this experiment?
Try using different foods for this experiment to see how they compare. You could try other types of beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc. Try alternatives to Beano, such as Gas-X, BeanAssist, and other digestive enzymes.
Kahn, R. “The Effect of Beano on Glucose Level.” Retrieved from