What Sort of Fruit Bag Preserves Fruit the Longest?

3.6 based on 20 ratings

Updated on Mar 18, 2010

Difficulty of Project


Grade Level




Safety Issues

There are no safety concerns for this project.

Material Availability

Materials are readily available for purchase at the local supermarket.

Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

2-4 Weeks


The purpose of this investigation is to determine what type of bag is best at preserving fruit purchased from the grocery store.

The goal of the project is to compare the hardness of the fruit as the fruit is stored in various packages over time as a measure of how preserved the fruit is over time. Over time, fruit loses its turgidity as it deteriorates. The packaging of the fruit may prolong the turgidity and hence the freshness of the fruit.

Materials and Equipment / Ingredients

  • 20-30 Apples
  • Different types of bags
  • Durometer


As fruit matures after it has ripened and has been picked from its tree, fruit loses its hardness as the starches in the fruit are broken-down and deteriorate over time. A durometer is an instrument that can be used to measure the hardness of fruit.

Research Questions

  • What causes the ripening of fruit?
  • What hormones are released by a plant over time?
  • How is fruit preserved?
  • What techniques are used to prolong the shelf-life of fruit?
  • What techniques/methods are used to preserve fruit?

Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research

  • Durometer
  • Preservation
  • Ethylene
  • Ripening

The diagram illustrates an apple and measuring tape to depict how width and circumference of fruit should be measured.

Experimental Procedure

  1. Label 20-30 different apples 1-30.
  2. Measure the hardness of each apple using the durometer.
  3. Record the hardness of each apple, the width, and perimeter of each apple.
  4. In four different types of bags, place an apple.
  5. Every day, remove each apple from its respective packaging and measure the hardness of each apple, the width, and perimeter over time.
  6. Continue to repeat step 5 every day for the duration of the project.
  7. Plot the change in hardness, change in perimeter, change of width of each apple in the four types of bags over time.


  1. National Center for home food preservation
  2. http://shelf-life-food.com/
Christine Ryder Combs, B.A. Honors Biochemistry, teaches high school Chemistry and Biology and serves as her school's science fair coordinator and science club sponsor. Since the development of an intensive science research program at her school, Christine has been nominated as an exemplary science teacher and has won awards for exemplary student participation at the regional science fair and recognized as teacher of the year.

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