for my as coursework, i am investigation the effect of hyrdrochloric acid on red cabbage, so that the pigment leaks out. however i am not really sure HOW the acid damages the cell membrane, and am finding it hard to find information on it. it could be because the acid damages the proteins? (salt bridges???) or the phospholipids, maybe H+ or something. i know the typical experiment is using ethanol, but i couldnt do that. any help would be much appreciated!
I've never heard of this experiment! It is likely that the pH change will damage the proteins in the membrane, resulting in a change in their tertiary structure.