Science project

Ripening Avocados


  • 5 very firm avocados
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple
  • 3 brown paper bags
  • Access to a refrigerator


  1. Take note of the appearance of each avocado.
  2. Place one avocado on the counter.
  3. Place one avocado on a shelf in the refrigerator.
  4. Place one avocado in a brown paper bag.
  5. Place one avocado in a brown paper bag with an apple.
  6. Place one avocado in a brown paper bag with a banana.
  7. Make sure to write down the date you begin your experiment in your data log.
  8. Visit your avocados on each day listed on the chart below and note any changes in the appearance, smell, or texture of each avocado.

Data Log:





Bag & Apple

Bag & Banana

Day 1






Day 3






Day 5






Day 7






Day 10






Day 14







The avocados in the brown bag with the banana should have ripened first. The avocados in the brown bag with the apple should have ripened second. The avocado in the brown bag alone came in third, with the avocado left on the counter close behind. The avocado in the fridge should have been last to ripen.


Different fruits give off different amounts of ethylene gas as they ripen. The avocado left in the brown paper bag ripened quickly because the bag was able to trap a lot of the ethylene gas. If an avocado is left in a bag or other enclosed space with another fruit that also releases ethylene gas, that avocado will ripen even more quickly than an avocado left in a bag on its own. This explains what we saw happen with the avocado in the apple bag and the avocado in the banana bag.

Now why did one of these avocados ripen more quickly than the other? The avocado in the bag with the banana ripened more quickly because bananas give off slightly more ethylene gas than apples. The avocado left on the counter didn’t have a bag to trap the ethylene gas, so it didn’t ripen as fast as some of the others. As for the avocado left in the refrigerator? Cold temperatures slow down the release of ethylene gas, so it ripened the slowest.

Digging Deeper:

So how can you take this experiment to the next level? Easy. Switch up the fruits you pack away with the avocado. Switch out the avocado for a different fruit to test. Try a warmer environment instead of using a refrigerator.

There are countless things you can do to learn about fruit and how different things affect how quickly ripen, so get creative. But make sure to try only one new thing at a time! If you change more than one part of the experiment at a time, you won’t know what change caused your different results. Go to it and have fun!

Disclaimer and Safety Precautions provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against that arise thereof. In addition, your access to's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items