Ethics – Human Case Study (2009) - Bake Mistake

Mon, 2012-02-27 10:15 -- pwhippey

Description of the Project

This project involves the participant tasting muffins, however I am not sure if this is allowed in her results. She is not bringing any food with her, she is just describing her results in her report. I want to make sure that this is allowed because I do not want her to show up and be disqualified.

The purpose of the project is to find out how ingredients omitted in a systematic way from the recipe affect the taste and other features of baked muffins.

The muffins were home made.

The list of ingredients is in the research paper attached.

The student was the only taster, and did not get an informed consent form signed.

Advice or Ruling

This is a scientific study of what happens when items in a muffn recipe are omitted, one at a time, from the recipe. The ingredients are available in any grocery store, and pose no risk to the consumer, who in this case is the student herself. Since mother was involved in the supervision of those parts of the experiment that took place in the kitchen, we can assume that parental approval was implied.

This project is eligible for the CWSF.

Your Project

If your proposed science fair project involves the participation of humans or the use of animals,
  1. Visit the Ethics web page so as to become familiar with the policies.
  2. Fill in the Request for Advice or a Ruling.
  3. Submit it to the Ethics Committee of your Regional Science Fair.


These case studies summarize interesting examples of science fair projects involving humans or animals submitted to the Youth Science Canada National Ethics Committee for review. A brief description of the proposed project is given, along with the ruling given by the Ethics Committee. Some details may have been changed in the descriptions so that the original source cannot be identified. The ethical challenges described have not been changed.