Yeasties: The Sugar Eating Beasties
Kaitlyn Lee, Zainab Sayedain
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary
Floor Location : M 024 H

In this experiment, we inquired about sugar alternatives and how they react with yeast. Candida is a type of yeast that resides in humans; if there is a Candida overgrowth it can cause bloating, stomach aches, skin issues, infections, etc. This was an interesting experiment for us because people are often told not to eat certain foods based on their sugar content since candida yeast grows more rapidly when sugar is introduced. Therefore through our experiment, we wanted to test how yeast reacts to sugar alternatives, in order to see if they would be effective substitutes for sugar.

We were testing three different sugar alternatives: xylitol, erythritol, and stevia. We put 1 1/2 tsps of each in beakers with 100mL of water and 3 ¼ tsp of yeast. Our controls were a solution of sugar with yeast and water, as well as a solution of yeast and water on its own. We then measured the specific gravity of each mixture. After that, we placed it in an incubator at 26 degrees celsius and let it sit for 2 hours. When 2 hours passed, we took out the mixtures and measured their specific gravity again. We repeated this whole process two more times to ensure validity. After collecting all the data, we made conversions in order to find the specific gravity of the yeast solutions, which indicated the growth of reproduction of the yeast.

In the end, our results confirmed our hypothesis in which we stated that the sugar would cause the yeast to grow and reproduce the most, while the other sweeteners would not cause the yeast to grow because yeast does not feed off of them. Now we understand that using sugar substitutes such as the ones we experimented will be effective for those who are not consuming sugars due to Candida overgrowth. Due to our observations of the stevia solution, we could also conclude that stevia wouldn't be the best alternative either, as it creates excess gas when mixed with the yeast. Therefore, xylitol and erythritol are the best sugar alternatives for people avoiding sugar, and can potentially be used in many different ways to allow people to eat whatever they desire without worrying about the consequences of sugar intake.