How to Mummify a Hotdog

By June Violet Arvay
Elementary Category (Grades 4-6)
Experiment | Chemistry, Environment

This experiment sought to determine the most effective desiccant to mummify a hot dog. To do so, this experiment tested whether sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or sodium chloride (table salt) would more quickly desiccate a meat-based hot dog.

I hypothesized that sodium chloride would be the most effective desiccant because table salt absorbs moisture from the air at a faster rate than sodium bicarbonate. To test this hypothesis, the width and length of two meat-based hotdogs were measured with string then weighed on a kitchen scale before begin completely submerged for one week in a tub of sodium bicarbonate and or sodium chloride and stored in a cool, dry, and dark location. Seven days later, both hotdogs were again weighed and measured before being re-submerged and stored. These measurements were recorded in a notebook. Then the process was carried out one last time, seven days later.

Ultimately, over the course of fourteen days, this project confirmed the initial hypothesis as correct: the hotdog submerged in sodium chloride lost greater total length, width, and height than the hotdog submerged in sodium bicarbonate, thereby making sodium chloride this more efficient desiccant for mummifying a hotdog.

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