The Rate Of Decomposition of Apple in Different Temperature Through CO2 Levels

2021-06-16 09:29:47
8 pages
1940 words
Harvey Mudd College
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Decomposition refers to the state of decay or rotting of organic matter. The decomposition of an apple fruit is caused by two factors; putrefaction where the bacteria break down the tissues of the fruit and also by autolysis factors which are the tissue breakdown of the internal enzymes and chemicals of the fruits. Temperature is one of the factors that accelerate or slow down the decomposition process of organic compounds. Temperature refers to the degree of coldness or hotness which is measured by a thermometer in 0F symbol "The Science Of Composting". Different temperatures through CO2 levels affect the rate of the decomposition of an apple, implying that the rate of the decomposition of decomposition o an apple fruit differs dependent on the temperatures that the fruit is exposed to in the present of CO2. In this report, we are going to investigate the rate of apple decomposition in different temperatures through the CO2 level.

Identifying the Context

Temperatures of different scales play a vital role in the growth, germination, and maturity of any given crop, and it would be cumbersome for the plants to grow well in unfavorable temperatures. The apple fruit is an organic compound; hence it is bound to decompose at one time. However, decomposition rate depends on the temperature that the fruit is exposed. When different apples are placed at various temperatures under CO2 level, their rate of decay will vary the speed of temperature exposure. The research question in this report is how different temperatures affect the decomposition of an apple fruit in CO2 levels. Once we understand how temperatures affect the rate of decomposition, then we can get to know on how to moderate the temperatures and identify the most suitable one for the storage of the apple fruit.

Decomposition is an essential process for the survival of the biotic components of the environment, but in the context of this report, we mainly focus on the adverse effects of decomposition accelerated by variation of temperatures in the presence of CO2 levels. Decomposition causes spoilage of food substances, and this is a big loss keeping in mind the essence of food in the highly populated world. Food needs to be well preserved so as to avoid its wastage, and preservation means being able to counter and moderate the factors that lead to food decomposition like temperature. Proper preservation of foods would help increase the quantity of food in the world, hence solving the local and global issues of food shortage. Food is essential for human survival, hence when there is more of it means more people will be able to survive and live comfortably (Sahu, and Geetesh 107).

The connection between the above local and global issue of food shortage and the research question is that decomposition is a primary causative of food shortage. Apple is one of the essential foods needed by the human body or survival and healthy nourishment of the human body. Hence, an investigation on how different temperatures affect how long the food will stay fresh and essential for human consumption is vital as it will give solutions on how we can ensure no food is wasted. Effects of various ranges of temperate on the decomposition and survival of the apple would help apply the same criteria to other related foods more so fruits. Almost all foods are related to the fact that they are organic compounds; hence the results that we would be obtained from this investigation will apply to other areas of the course that are related.


The apple fruits used in the study were the Cv Gala which is commonly available in many regions. The selected apples were o the same color, physical integrity as well as uniform size. The apples were thoroughly cleaned in running water and later on sanitized in 90 ppm sodium hypochlorite solution or the disinfection of the fruits for around 10 minutes. Afterward, the fruits apples again rinsed in clean running water. The fruits were wiped dry and then stored at different controlled temperatures ranging from 20c, 50c, 70c and the lastly at room temperature of 150c. In the experiment, the CO2 levels were kept constant in the room during the storage period. The test was monitored for seven days, and during these days the CO2 levels around where the fruits were kept were observed after 24 hours. In each of the four temperature ranges, three apples were put, and the rate of their decomposition monitored.

A titratable acidity was used in the experiment to for chemical analysis of the apples pulp. The Miller method was used to determine the values of the reducing sugars in the fruits which include fructose, sucrose, and glucose. The physical analysis of the fruits was also conducted to show the variance of the weight of the fruits during the experiment time. The statistical data obtained from the measurement of the elements under study were recorded in the computer for ease of access to the data. The research involved many factors which had to be considered, but we redirected our primary focus to the physical changes occurring on the apples under different temperatures. The sampling strategy used in this experiment was mainly laboratory work, application of descriptive statistics to measure the average of temperature and CO2 parameter in the analysis. Ethical considerations risk assessment in the experiment was to ensure safety or the people carrying out the experiments in the lab due to the chemical substances used.

Results, Analysis, and Conclusion

The change occurring to the apples in the experiment showed the same trend although at different rates. There was an escalation in the levels of CO2 in all categories of the experiment which were kept at various temperatures. For the apple stored at 20C, the CO2 rose from 0.02% to 7.98%, and sample at 50C the CO2 content increased from 0.02% to 10.45%. In the sample at 70C, the CO2 level increased from 0.02% to 12.61% ad at room temperature of 150C, the levels of CO2 emitted by the apple stored under this temperature increased from 0.02% to 20.6%. The trend indicated in all the samples stored at different temperatures was that the levels of the CO2 increased with the increase in the temperature levels from the usual CO2 level to a higher figure.

From the results obtained above, the apples decomposed at a higher rate with increase in the levels of temperature. Temperature is identified as one of the significant external influence of decomposition process (Fagundes, Cristiane, Bruno, and Alcilene 61). The lower the temperature levels, the lower the rate of decomposition of the apples. The highest decomposition level was seen at 70C while the minimum rate of decomposition of the apple fruits was seen at 20C test. Deducing from the results obtained, the optimum temperature for the storage of the apple fruits is between 00C to 30C test. The temperature of 50C and 70C can also be used for the storage of the apples, but the apples in this condition would survive for a shorter time as compared to those in a bit lower temperatures. The apples stored at room temperatures would only take a few days to decompose as compared to those stored at much lower temperatures.

In conclusion, the gas evolution in the experiments showed that of each category of experiment the levels of the CO2 increase throughout the experiment though at different rates. The result of CO2 increase implied that the apples emitted CO2 hen decomposing, and the faster the speed of decomposition the more the CO2 produced. Temperature variations across the experiments set up were identified as the primary accelerator of decomposition of the apple fruits. The amount of CO2 generated by each of the fruits in the different temperature categories significantly influenced by the surrounding temperature. Thus, when temperatures are low, a small amount of this gas would thus be produced. Additionally, the fruits which appeared to have decomposed more under higher temperatures lost their turgidity and seemed to be more flaccid than those stored at a lower temperature (Fagundes, Cristiane, Bruno, and Alcilene 62). For instance, the apples under room temperature felt soft and juicier than those under low temperatures which were hard and appeared crunchy.

Discussion and Evaluation

From the above experiment, we have identified how temperature variations play a significant role in the lifespan of the apple fruit. The apples above are fruits like any other, and so the criteria which can be applied to preserve the apples can apply to any other fruit and almost all other foods in general. Low temperatures in most cases stop or inhibit proliferation and growth but not necessarily killing the bacteria. For people to ensure that food does not go to waste due to spoilage by the bacteria, the food should be stored at low-temperature places to inhibit the activities of the bacteria. Room temperature is mostly too high ranging to 150C, hence the reason as to why a lot of food go to waste in places where the temperature is a bit higher than the colder regions.

Refrigeration and freezing can be helpful methods of solving the global food wastage crisis. Refrigeration, which occurs at 40C and freezing at 200C or less, inactivates the function of the bacteria hence preventing food spoilage. Additionally, the low temperature inhibits the actions of the enzyme of the fruits, hence lowering the rate at which the fruits ripen. The introduction of commercial refrigeration has improved the diets and health of a vast number of people. Dairy products can last longer due to the cooling system especially when the temperatures are high during the year. Perishable foods are also able to be transported for longer distances and reach needy people without spoiling since refrigeration helps keep these foods fresh all through. All these benefits of refrigeration system have enabled to reduce the wastage of food and also save enough for use in the future when needs arise, and food shortage hits people.

The investigations of the rate of apple decomposition in different temperature in CO2 levels was a success since the desired, and expected results were obtained. From the lab experiment and the analysis of the results, the higher the temperatures, the higher the levels CO2 produced and the more the decomposition of the apple. The results and analysis obtained in this experiment can be applied to control the decomposition of other organic compounds including food hence reduce food wastage. Reduction in general food wastage would result in increased food quantity to feed more people in the world hence reducing hunger crisis. Preservation of foods using refrigeration and freezing uses this criterion of low temperature to preserve perishable food substance and help them last longer without being spoilt by the bacteria. Bacteria are the one that causes food rot, but the advantage is that they get inhibited under low temperatures.

The investigation was a success; however, it had some limitations and weaknesses of the methods that were used. The time allocated for the whole experiment was short as we did not get to assess the decomposition up to the last state of the decomposition process. The levels of the CO2 produced during the experiment were a bit hard to record accurately since it was hard to expel all the air in the equipment used before the onset of the experiment. Additionally, the oxygen levels in the experiment tampered with the levels of the CO2 since the two gasses freely co-exists together in the atmosphere. Humidity factors also played a part in the final results and analysis of the experiment although its effects on the level of decomposition were not accounted for in the experiment. The experiment was based on the assumption that decomposition of all food stuff is affected by temperatu...

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