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Eating Light

based on 3 ratings
Author: Judee Shipman

Science is always working on technological improvements that prolong the freshness of food. This simple experiment is designed to determine whether or not food freshness is affected by light. The results of this study could provide useful information to the food-processing industries.

Problem:

This project examines how the freshness of food is affected by light. The goals of this project are to determine whether or not light affects food freshness, and to encourage improvements in food-processing technology.

Materials:

  • Computer with Internet access     
  • Color printer     
  • Digital camera     
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.)
  • Fresh food samples (banana, avocado, tomato, potato, leftovers, etc. – Three samples of each type, all three samples as close to the same size as possible).
  • Three identical large bowls 

Procedure:

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
  2. Address all of the above terms and research questions.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic
  4. Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
  5. Split the food samples into three identical groups. Whole fruits work well for this project, but use your imagination.
  6. Place each group of foods in a separate bowl.
  7. Put one bowl into a darkened cupboard.
  8. Place another bowl on a kitchen counter or the top of the fridge.
  9. Leave the third bowl outdoors in partial sunlight
  10. Carefully record all observations as the days go by.
  11. Judge freshness by appearance, firmness, odor and coloring.
  12. Analyze your data.
  13. Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
  14. Include interesting photos, diagrams and food samples in your science fair display.
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