Title

Ripening Bananas

Problem Scenario

This question is worth asking because it can help people with how they store their bananas in order for them to ripen the best. For example, if someone bought bananas and wanted them to last a while then they would know what type of packaging could slow down the ripening speed. If someone wanted to eat the bananas soon even though they were green, then this information could also help them because it tells what kind of packaging to use for a faster-ripening time. The information can help people decide how to package their bananas in order for them to ripen the quickest or the slowest.

Broad Question

Does fruit ripen at different rates?

Specific Question

Does packaging affect the ripening of bananas?

Hypothesis

Packaging does affect the ripening of bananas. The bananas that are more exposed to air like the ones with no packaging, or in a box or bag with holes will ripen more than the bananas that are enclosed in packaging, such as the ones that are in a closed bag or box.

Graph of Hypothesis

emmc12-1 real prediction graph.png



Variables

Independent Variable:

Types of packaging.

Dependent Variable:

Amount of ripening on bananas.

Variables That Need To Be Controlled:

Time bananas ripen for.
Amount of time bananas ripen for before the experiment.
Number of bananas in each type of packaging.

Vocabulary List That Needs Explanation

Enzyme: A substance produced from a living organism. Tyrosinase: Polyphenol oxidase. Polyphenol oxidase: An enzyme found in fruits and vegetables that causes them to brown.

General Plan

Before starting this experiment, a scale of ripening must be made. The ripening rates of the bananas in the different types of packaging will be compared to this scale. To create the scale, a picture of an unpackaged green banana will be taken everyday at the same time for two weeks. The pictures will be printed and labeled with the right level; ex. first picture will be level one, second picture will be level two, etc... To perform the experiment, each banana from a green bunch of five bananas will be placed in each type of packaging. Let them sit for one week. At the end of one week take a picture of each banana. Repeat these steps with another green bunch of five bananas. Match up these pictures to the scale of ripening to see how each type of packaging affected the ripening rates of the bananas. Record the data.

Potential Problems And Solutions

There are not many problems in this experiment. One potential problem is that the bananas were ripened or treated differently before bought. The solution is to buy one bunch of five bananas because that means the bananas were treated the same. Another potential problem is that there are no bunches of five green bananas at the store. The solution is to wait until there is a bunch of five green bananas. Lastly, a problem could be to forget to take a picture of the banana after one week, or when creating the scale. The solution is to make sure to write down the date and the time that the picture needs to be taken. These are the only potential problems that might be encountered during this experiment.

Safety Or Environmental Concerns

There are not many safety or environmental concerns in this experiment. One safety concern would be to be careful not to cut yourself when making holes in the boxes and bags. Another concern could be if there are little kids around make sure they don't put the bags over their heads. The last concern could be to make sure the bananas don't attract fruit flies while they are ripening. That is all the safety or environrnmental concerns in my experiment.

Experimental Design

What is your experimental unit?
The experimental unit is a banana.


Number Of Trials:
There are two trials in the experiment.


Number Of Subjects In Each trial:
There are eight subjects in this experiment; two bananas with no packaging, two bananas in a box, two bananas in a box with holes, two bananas in a bag, and two bananas in a bag with holes.


Number of Observations:
There are eight observations in this experiment.


When data will be collected
Data will be collected in February.


Where will data be collected?:
The experiment was completed and the data was collected at my house.

Resources and Budget Table

Item
Number needed
Where I will get this
Cost
Bananas
10
Hannaford
$5.00
Shoe Box
2
Home
$0
Bag
2
Home
$0
Camera
1
Home
$0




















Detailed Procedure

1. Take a picture of a green banana every day for two weeks (or until the banana is very brown).
2. Print the pictures
3. Label each picture with the correct level. Ex. first picture is level one, second picture is level two, etc...
4. Take apart a bunch of five green bananas and place one banana in each type of packaging (no packaging, box, box with 100 holes, bag, bag with 50 holes).
5. After one week, take a picture of each banana.
6. Repeat steps 4-5 with another green bunch of five bananas.
7. Print the pictures.
8. Match the pictures to the correct level of ripening.
9. Record the data to find out if packaging affects the ripening of bananas.

Diagram


Photo List

There are many photos that would be important to have in this experiment. First, there are all the pictures for the scale of ripening. This will be 14 photos. Then, there are all the pictures for the bananas that are in different types of packaging. That is 10 more photos. In all, there are 24 pictures that are needed in this experiment.

Time Line

January: Learn about Science Fair, choose a topic, and start using the wiki page. February: Purchase bananas (by February 2nd or 3rd), create scale of ripening (by February 25th), complete experiment (by February 25th), collect results (by February 30th). March: Finish the wiki (by March 20th), do poster (by March 25th), and practice the speech. KMS Science Fair: March 29th. Regional Science Fair: May 9th.


Data Table

Level of Ripening of Bananas in Different Types Of Packaging
Type of Packaging
Level of Ripening
No Packaging 1
11
No Packaging 2
10
Box 1
5
Box 2
9
Box With Holes 1
8
Box With Holes 2
8
Bag 1
7
Bag 2
7
Bag With Holes 1
9
Bag With Holes 2
10



Data Analysis


All Raw Data

(See data table above)

Graphs

Emily McArdle Finished Science Fair Chart.png


Photos

emmc12-1 box with holes.JPG
Box with holes 1
emmc12-1 no packaging.JPG
No packaging 1

emmc12-1 level 1.JPG
Level 1

emmc12-1 level 2.JPG
Level 2

emmc12-1 level 3.JPG
Level 3

emmc12-1 level 4.JPG
Level 4

emmc12-1 level 5.JPG
Level 5

emmc12-1 level 6.JPG
Level 6

emmc12-1 level 7.JPG
Level 7

emmc12-1 real level 8.JPG
Level 8

emmc12-1 real level 9!!!.JPG
Level 9

emmc12-1 level 10.JPG
Level 10

emmc12-1 level 11.JPG
Level 11

emmc12-1 level 12.JPG
Level 12

emmc12-1 level 13.JPG
Level 13
emmc12-1 Real Level 14 banana.JPG
Level 14

Results

The graph shows that the bananas that had no packaging browned the most in one week, out of all ten bananas.The bananas that were in a bag with holes browned the second most in one week. Next were the bananas that were in a box with holes. After that were the bananas that were in bags. Lastly, there was a discrepancy between the two bananas in boxes without holes. One ripened at a low level, while the other ripened at a higher level. The bananas that ripened with out packaging were at levels 11 and 10. The bananas in a box ripened to levels 5 and 9. Bananas that were in a box with holes ripened to level 8. The bananas in a bag were at level 7 and the bananas in a bag with holes were at levels 9 and 10.

Conclusion
Overall, my hypothesis was supported throughout this experiment. My hypothesis was that packaging does affect the ripening of bananas. The bananas that were exposed to more air, like the ones with no packaging or in the box or bag with holes, would ripen more in one week than the ones that were exposed to less air, such as the bananas in a box or bag. This experiment showed that, mostly, the bananas that were exposed to more air browned more than the ones that were exposed to less air. The bananas with no packaging or in a box or bag with holes, browned more than the bananas that were in a closed box or bag.

Discussion

This experiment did answer my question: does packaging affect the ripening of bananas? My experiment shows that packaging does affect the ripening of bananas. There are a few patterns in my data. One pattern in my data is that some of the bananas had the same level of ripening and other bananas were at different levels after one week. The two bananas that were in a box with holes were both at level 8 after one week. The two bananas that were in a bag both had a level 7 after one week. One banana that didn't have any packaging was at the same level as a banana that was in a bag with holes. Another banana that was in a box also had the same level as a banana that was in a bag with holes, at a level of 9. Those are the patterns that were found in this experiment.

There is one major problem that could be encountered during the experiment. While making the scale of ripening, a picture of the banana must be taken every day, so the problem could be if one was unable to take a picture because they were away. The solution is to ask someone else to take the picture or to plan this experiment so the experimenter is always available to take a picture. This experiment could prove to be very helpful to solve problems regarding the ripening of bananas. This data shows that the best way to store bananas to keep them from ripening quickly is in a closed box. The best way to make bananas ripen quicker is to let them sit out without any packaging. This data from the experiment is helpful to everybody who eats bananas because it shows the best way to store them. One way this experiment could be advanced is to see whether organic and non-organic bananas ripen differently. Another way would be to test different kinds of packaging such as different kinds of bags, or with different amounts of light.

Benefit to Community and/or Science

There are many benefits to community and/or science from this experiment. One benefit is that this data can help people know how to store their bananas to make them ripen at the desired pace. Another benefit would be that stores would also know how to store bananas that they are trying to sell. If the bananas are really green then it makes sense for stores to have bananas without any packaging, but if the bananas look like they will be turning brown soon then the store should put the bananas in a closed box or bag to keep the bananas from turning brown too quickly. The last benefit would be for restaurants who sell bananas to customers. The restaurants would know how to store the bananas without using bad chemicals to have them ripen to the right color. Those are the benefits to the community and/or science.

Background Research

There are many factors to consider when experimenting with bananas. Why do bananas turn brown? What are the nutrients in bananas? Are there different kinds of bananas? What are the different types? This information can help one understand the reasoning behind this experiment and the results of this experiment.

Bananas start out green, turn yellow, and then become brown. Bananas turn brown because they contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase. Another word for this enzyme is tyrosinase. Many plants, fruits, and vegetables contain this enzyme. When this enzyme comes in contact with oxygen, the banana peel starts to turn brown. This process and result of the banana turning brown is very similar to the way metal can rust. The less oxygen that the banana comes in contact with, the slower the banana will brown.

Bananas contain many kinds of nutrients which are needed for a healthy lifestyle. Bananas contain types of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, but they also contain a lot of sugar. The carbohydrates come from fiber, starch, and sugar. One banana contains 27.5 grams of sugar, which is more than two Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cups! However, there are also many vitamins in a banana, including: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6. Bananas are a great source of vitamin C because they contain 33% of the recommended daily value. The minerals in bananas are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and fluoride. As one can see, bananas are very healthy, but they also contain a lot of sugar.

There are many different types of bananas. In fact, there are over 1,000 types! Most bananas are classified into two different categories: those that can be eaten immediately and those that need to be cooked before being eaten. A few types of bananas that can be eaten immediately are the Gros Michel, Cavendish, Plantain, Red, and Ice Cream. The Gros Michel banana used to be the most popular banana in the U.S., but in 1960 a fungus spread and growing Gros Michel bananas was no longer profitable. Cavendish bananas replaced the Gros Michel bananas and are still the most popular banana. However, a different fungus now threatens to destroy the Cavendish bananas. The skin color of the Red banana is maroon or purple, and its flesh is pink or orange. The Red banana has more vitamin C and B6 than other types of bananas. The Ice Cream banana has a creamy texture similar to ice cream, hence its name. Plantains are a type of cooking banana. Plantains are lower in sugar and have high starch content. In some countries plantains are used instead of potatoes. It may be surprising to some people that there are actually many types of bananas.

While experimenting with bananas there are many things to consider. This information, such as the reasoning behind browning of bananas, the nutrients in bananas, and the types of bananas are important to know. The information can help one understand this experiment and why the results are as they are. Bananas may seem like a simple fruit, but there is a lot of information that is not known about them.

References

"Why Do Bananas Turn Brown?" Why Do Bananas Turn Brown? N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.


"Nutrition Facts." And Analysis for Bananas, Raw. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.


"Why Do Bananas Turn Brown?" Ifood.tv. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.


"What Are Some Different Types of Bananas?" WiseGEEK. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.


Trotsfield, Reginald. "What Are the Different Kinds of Bananas?" EHow. Demand Media, 20 Apr. 2011. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.


"What Are the Different Types of Bananas." Find Food Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.


Abstract

This experiment tested whether packaging affects the ripening of bananas. This experiment can help people decide how to store their bananas in order to make them ripen at the desired rate. First, a scale of ripening was created. A picture was taken of a banana everyday for two weeks. Label all the pictures with the correct level of ripening, starting with the first picture which was level one. Then, the bananas were put in each type of packaging for one week. After one week a picture was taken of each banana. The pictures were then matched to the levels of ripening. The experiment showed that the bananas in a closed bag and box ripened less than the bananas that had no packaging, that were in bag with holes, and in a box with holes. Therefore the bananas that were exposed to more air ripened more than the bananas that were exposed to less air, which supports my original hypothesis.