Faulty Fermentation Plagues Experiment


Madeleine Singh, Staff Writer

To learn how yogurt is truly made, students in Jay Chugh’s biology classes conducted a week-long lab that concluded on October 1.

The students assessed variables using test tubes, placing various ingredients in each tube in order to start fermentation and other reactions. They experimented with e. Coli, saltwater, vinegar, yogurt bacteria, cow milk, and goat milk, to see which ingredients formed a substance that had yogurt’s trademark consistency . Though the tests were carefully conducted, the results were inconsistent.

“We put milk in each of our test tubes, and then tested multiple variables with the milk,” freshman Maggie O’Connor explained. “The only tube that made yogurt had only yogurt bacteria and milk. We found that the tubes with E. Coli, saltwater, or vinegar didn’t make yogurt, which was surprising.”

However, not everyone saw the same results from the same ingredients. “Our group’s results said that goat milk could also make decent yogurt,” freshman Matthew Shieh said.

Chugh said that the lab’s purpose was “to show how different forms life can be used as a tool.” He noted that the yogurt lab is helpful in introducing scientific control and variables, which are “both very valuable aspects of science.”

“I’ll never think of yogurt exactly the same way,” said freshman Lindsay Torres.