Student Research Project - Banana Ripening

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Effect of temperature on banana ripening
Individual Student Research Project 2012
Aim
To investigate which temperatures slow or quicken the ripening process of bananas.
Introduction and Background Information
Thousands of dollars are spent to ripen bananas to the perfect point while transporting them so that they ripen, do not over ripen and remain edible when they reach the stores. Some people think that the temperature has an effect on the ripening of bananas. This experiment will be testing the effect of temperature on bananas. Bananas release gases such as ethylene and then use these gases to ripen themselves. When the ethylene concentration in an area is high, the ripening of a banana is quickened. However, how does temperature affect the release of ethylene gas and therefore the ripening of a banana is a worthy question to solve. In this experiment, we will test what effect temperature has on the ripening of bananas.
Knowing which temperatures thwart and accelerate the ripening process is important because transporters need to prolong the life of bananas while they ship them from one place to another. It is important that farmers, transporters, merchants, grocers, consumers, and other agriculturists know how long it will take for bananas to ripen at a certain temperature so they minimize waste and maximize profits.
Hypothesis
That when bananas are placed in cooler conditions, then they will ripen slower than if they are placed in warmer conditions.
Equipment
12 Green Bananas that are all nearly the same size, shape and ripeness
Fridge
3 Boxes or Baskets
Something to cover a basket
Insulating material to rise and maintain temperature.
Banana Ripening Level Chart
Camera
Method
1. Divide bananas into three groups of four bananas each. Try to make sure that the bananas are nearly the same size, shape and colour and level of ripening. Place bananas in 3 baskets. In the last basket, place the bananas in the insulating material and then in the



Bibliography: 1. Davis FFA - Team Food Science 2. http://www.ethylenecontrol.com/about.html 3. http://www.australianbananas.com.au/banana-facts/ripening/ 4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana

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