The Rotting Apple Experiment
Today we are conducting the rotting apple experiment and exploring the world of DECAY and how decay changes when it is exposed to different environments.
Why does food decay?
Have you ever noticed that if you leave a piece of fruit, such as an apple for too long it starts to “go bad”, or decay?
Well recently we were enjoying a delicious snack of apple slices when all of a sudden chaos ensued and we abounded our apple slices on the kitchen table. A few hours later we go back to our slices to find them brown and no longer juicy.
This is because micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and yeasts feed on fruit and break it down. Have you also noticed that if you keep your vegetables and fruits in the refrigerator they stay fresh longer? Well, this is because the cold slows down the growth and reproduction of micro-organisms, stopping the decay.
Let’s observe how apples decay in different environments!
What you will need:
- 1 Apple
- Four clear containers
What to do:
- First, you are going to cut and core an apple into four segments.
- Place each apple into a clear container.
- One container, leave empty with just the apple slice and label it air.
- Then you are going to submerge another slice of apple into vinegar and label it.
- Next, you are going to place your apple slice in water, make sure it is completely covered and label it.
- In your last container, you are going to add oil, make sure your apple is completely submerged and it is labeled.
- Watch daily how your apple segments change within each environment.
- Write down your observations and notice how your apple changes each day and the differences between the changes in the different environments.
The following image represents the status of our experiment on day 4:
There are many ways to preserve food or slow or stop the activity of the micro-organisms which make the fruit decay. Besides refrigeration, you can freeze, can or pickle foods to preserve them. We are observing how the process of decay was changed when we submerged the fruit into different elements.
As you can see from the photos and video, the air was the quickest way for the apple to decay while vinegar prevented mold from growing onto the apple. This is because vinegar has anti-microbial properties. This means that vinegar stops or kills the micro-organisms. The oil sample also didn’t decay as rapidly because there are elements in certain oils which slow down the decaying process. Water showed an increase in mold this is because the micro-organisms thrived in the moist environment and reproduced.
Check it out in action:
Let us know!
Did you try this experiment? How did you like it? What were your observations? Did you use different solutions, such as lemon juice, salt, sugar, bicarbonate of soda? Did you try a different fruit? Let us know in the comments section below. Share your videos and photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag- #sciencesunday
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