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Food science fair project:
Which fruits rot the first?




Project Information
Title: Which fruits rot the first?
Subject: Food Science
Subcategory: Food Preservation
Grade level: Primary School - Grades K-3
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
Awards: 2nd Place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair ($40)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair
Year: 2013
Materials: Zip lock bags, label tags, 3 slices of apples, 3 slices of oranges, a few of bluberries
Concepts: Food spoilage, food decomposition
Description: Different fruit slices were sealed into zip block bags for five days; decay observed.
Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2013/qiao13j
Short Background

Food Spoilage

Spoilage is the process in which food deteriorates to the point in which it is not edible to humans or its quality of edibility becomes reduced. Various external forces are responsible for the spoilage of food. Food that is capable of spoiling is referred to as perishable food.

Harvested foods decompose from the moment they are harvested due to attacks from enzymes, oxidation and microorganisms. These include bacteria, mold, and yeast.

Various bacteria can be responsible for the spoilage of food. When bacteria breaks down the food, acids and other waste products are created in the process. While the bacteria itself may or may not be harmful, the waste products may be unpleasant to taste or may even be harmful to one's health.

Yeasts can be responsible for the decomposition of food with a high sugar content. The same effect is useful in the production of various types of food and beverages, such as bread, yogurt, cider, and alcoholic beverages.

Signs of food spoilage may include an appearance different from the food in its fresh form, such as a change in color, a change in texture, an unpleasant odor, or an undesirable taste. The item may become softer than normal. If mold occurs, it is often visible externally on the item.

Some spoiled foods are harmless to eat, and may simply be diminished in quality. But foods exhibiting certain types of spoilage may be harmful to consume. Uncooked or under-cooked animal flesh that spoils is typically quite toxic, and consumption can result in serious illness or death.

Decomposition (or rotting) is the process by which organic substances are broken down into simpler forms of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death. Although no two organisms decompose in the same way, they all undergo the same sequential stages of decomposition.

See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_spoilage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decomposition

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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Last updated: June 2013
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