Kitchen K-Mistry – fast facts: preserves


FunKids Radio and the RSC have teamed up again, and chemistry superhero K-Mistry has returned to introduce children to the chemistry they can find all around them, in their kitchen!

Type of Activity

group work, working independently



Age Group


K-Mistry shows us the different ways that chemistry can make our food stay tasty for longer!


If you teach primary science, click the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including microorganisms.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That there are methods to slow the process of decomposition.
    • These processes don’t kill the bacteria, but either prevent them growing in the first place or slow the rate of decomposition by reducing the activity of the bacteria. Food will still decompose eventually, but at a much slower rate.

Suggested activity use

This resource would be useful to be used after or in conjunction with Fast Facts 14 ( Children could be tasked with trying to find out how to preserve foods and slow the rate of decomposition before listening to the recording. Alternatively, they could listen to the recording and carry out some of the examples given to observe the effect they have on the process of food rotting. Children could work in small groups.

Practical considerations

A range of different preservation methods would be required for children to carry out, though total removal of oxygen in a classroom environment will be difficult.

Different foods will need to be provided in order for children to test different preserving techniques.

Please take into account health and safety considerations, particularly relating to allergies as well as handling decomposing foods.