The Effect of Ethylene Production Level, Time, and Incubation Size on Starch Content

The objective for this experiment was to determine which combination of values of ethylene production, time, and incubation size produced the fruit with the highest starch count, and therefore the least ripened. During each of the eleven trials within the three separate experiments, one of three fruits with different levels of ethylene production (the highest was the apple, the standard was the banana, the lowest was the pear) was chosen to be tested on. Each of these fruits was then allotted a certain amount of time to ripen, whether it was one, two, or three days. Three different containers were also used as a factor in order to control ethylene reintroduction into the fruit. The different levels included 3.75 liter glass jars, 34.78 liter garbage cans, and an entire room. Each fruit was then tested with Potassium-Iodide solution which effectively bonds to starches resulting in a color change proportional to the amount of starch. The more starch, the more unripened the fruit was. Then, a colorimeter was used to determine absorbency of each fruit. Results revealed that none of the variables were necessarily significant; however, the combination that yielded the least-ripened fruit was the least amount of ethylene with the smallest container when allowed the smallest time frame. This information could be vital for supermarkets looking to sell the best tasting fruit by making it last. Selling ripened fruit could mean that the fruit might be spoiled by the time a customer actually purchases it, takes it home, and decides he wants to eat it. This data can potentially help to preserve fruits for all to enjoy.

Research Done By:

Abhi Grewal
Sterling Heights High School

Jake Theut
Sterling Heights High School