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(Note: this is no an experiment—because you can eat the results. This is a kitchen project that shows exactly how science is part of our everyday lives!)

If you live right next to a fruit tree, girlfriend would be able to pick a piece of fruit at precisely the height of ripeness. But, most of us don’t live in orchards, so we gain our fruit native a store. Numerous times, fruit arrives at the store before it is prepared to eat. No problem—we take it it home and also let it finish ripening in ours kitchen. But sometimes, that procedure takes much longer than we would like. Is over there a means to speed up the process?

First, let’s talk around what happens when fruit ripens. A number of chemical reaction occur. Probably the most noticeable readjust us that starches in the fruit are changed into sugars. This readjust makes the fruit taste sweeter and also have a an ext pleasant texture—unripe fruit is often described together mealy. Other reactions reason color changes, do the fruit less acidic (less tart), and softer.

You are watching: Ripening of fruits is a chemical change

How does the fruit understand when come ripen? that complicated, but exposure to ethylene gas (a straightforward organic molecule) transforms on enzyme in the fruit that produce the ripening process. So, it’s feasible to use ethylene gas to ripen fruit. But, how deserve to we gain ethylene gas to use in ours kitchens? We will usage fruit! that’s right—many types of fruit release ethylene. If we put fruit together in an environment that will capture the ethylene gas, the fruit should ripen faster.

In fact, the expression, “one poor apple spoils the entirety bunch” is actually based upon science! Damaged fruit produces an ext ethylene, so having a bruised apple in the bag can cause every one of the apples come spoil more quickly. Also when civilization are not officially performing experiments, they are still acting like scientists—making observations and also developing theories.

In this project, we investigate whether storing a green banana by itself in a closeup of the door bag (to catch ethylene) ripens faster than a banana left top top the counter. We likewise look at whether storing the banana with one more piece of ruit (apple or orange) affects the ripening time. The banana left ~ above the counter is an extremely important because it is our experimental control. We will compare the speed that the bananas save on computer in a bag/with various other fruit v the banana left top top the counter.

Other factors affecting ripening can likewise be investigated using this same kind of procedure. Try ripening various fruits choose avocados or pears instead of bananas. Or you could shot using different places of save on computer the banana like a colder basement or a warmer windowsill. See if the form of bag—paper or plastic—affects the results. When you’re done, you may have decided on a new means to store fruit in ~ home.

Rapid Ripening

Materials

Green bananas

Zipper optimal plastic bags

Other fruit (apples and oranges work well)

1. Pick numerous bananas the are an in similar way unripe.

2. Do observations—the bananas must all have a similar appearance.

3. Collection aside one banana. This banana will certainly be the control.

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4. Placed one banana in a bag through itself. Be sure to seal the bag completely!

5. Placed one banana in a bag with one more piece of fruit. Be certain to seal the bag completely. Repeat with any kind of other fruit you have to test.

6. Proceed to make observations every day. Does among the bananas seem to ripen faster than the others?

7. This project have the right to be recurring with different fruits or conditions. Find the best way to ripen fruit!