Slow as Molasses: Brown Sugar V. Molasses, which produces more CO2?

Kathleen Waxman, Emma Turner, Lewis Terry, Serina Steph, Kavya Boyina


Baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is one of the most commonly used fungi in the modern world, used to produce bread and beer by means of fermentation. Because of this, there has been a push to discover the best means to grow yeast that results in fermentation. Based on prior studies we have found that brown sugar is one of the highest performing sugars to do so, this caused us to ask if the success of brown sugar was due to the added molasses. We tested this in a comparative study of brown sugar and molasses by measuring the rate of CO2 produced over a period of 10 minutes. We hypothesized that molasses would produce more CO2 as the caloric content was higher than that of brown sugar. Our hypothesis was incorrect as brown sugar produced 45.2 ppm/min and molasses produced about 34.8 ppm/min showing that brown sugar was a better carbohydrate to use for fermentation.

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