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ONE BAD APPLE RUINS THE WHOLE BARREL

Study if a spoiled fruit causes other fruits to ripen faster

Suitable For

Grade 4

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <2 Weeks

Supervision

Required

What’s it about?

Spoiled or damaged fruit gives off a gas that causes other fruits near it to ripen faster. This is also where the expression one bad apple ruins the whole barrel comes from. Test if this phenomenon is true with the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Ethylene, Hormone, Climacteric fruit

What will I need?

  • ZIPLOC BAGS
  • FORK
  • 2x BANANAS
  • 2x TOMATOES
  • 2x APPLES

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

This science experiment works because fruit that is ripe gives off a chemical called ‘ethylene’ gas, and is the same across different types of fruit. ‘Ethylene’ gas causes many types of fruits to ripen faster because ethylene gas is a type of ‘hormone’. Hormones, as they do in humans, cause growth. Thus, ethylene does not cause a fruit to spoil but rather to ‘ripen’ faster. Spoiling of a fruit occurs at the end of the ripening process.

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