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The Effects of Temperature and Musa sapientum Fruit on the Ripening Process of Other M.

sapientum Fruit
Stuart Coles and Francois Corpel
Macomb Mathematics Science Technology Center
Biology 1
Section 9B
Mr. Acre/Mr. Estapa/Mrs. Gravel
21 May 2015
Table of Contents

Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 1

Problem Statement ....................................................................................................................................... 4

Experimental Design ..................................................................................................................................... 5

Data and Observations.................................................................................................................................. 7

Data Analysis and Interpretation ................................................................................................................ 10

Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................... 15

Acknowledgements..................................................................................................................................... 17

Works Cited ................................................................................................................................................. 18


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Introduction

The Musa sapientum fruit, more commonly known as the banana, is a prominent fruit in

household recipes and in raw consumption. Often, the ripeness of bananas is a big factor in the

marketability and usability of M. sapientum (National Horticulture Board). M. sapientum fruit continue

to ripen after they leave the vine, and the time that it takes for bananas to ripen can vary based on a

number of factors (National Horticulture Board).

Figure 1. M. Sapientum Ripeness Chart

Figure 1 shows a chart of M. Sapientum in varying stages of ripeness. Ripening itself can be

defined by a number of factors, such as turgidity and texture, but this for the purposes of this paper,

ripeness level will simply refer to the physical coloration of the M. sapientum fruit, as shown above.

Ripened fruit tend to be sweeter and softer than the unripened fruit, as well as experiencing the color

change shown in Figure 1. Two factors that seem to have a large impact on the ripening of M. sapientum

fruit are the temperature of the area in which the fruit resides and the presence of ethylene gas in the

surrounding environment (National Horticulture Board).


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It is known that temperature has some effect on the ripening rate of M. sapientum fruit.

Previous research has shown that there is also evidence that higher temperatures, specifically, are likely

to accelerate ripening, while low temperatures are likely to slow it down (Paull). Temperatures above

the average in areas where M. sapientum grow naturally are believed to increase the rate of ripening

further, although to what extent is unknown. Lower temperatures are believed to slow down the

ripening rate of the fruit, but, again, the extent of the impact of temperature is unknown (Paull). The

methods by which temperature impacts the fruit are not known, but it has been hypothesized that it

alters the effectiveness of protein synthesis for compounds such as sugars or weaken the bonds in the

cell wall of the fruit, each of which are thought to be essential processes in the ripening of the fruit

(Paull).

The other factor, the presence of ethylene, is more complex. Ethylene is a gas created and

emitted by climacteric fruits, which continue to ripen after being removed from the vine. The M.

sapientum fruit is among this group of fruits, and as such does produce and release ethylene

(Blankenship). It is known that ethylene is required for the ripening of climacteric fruits to occur, but the

methods by which ethylene impacts the ripening of fruit, which seem to include some form of altered

genetic expression, are not well understood (Asif). It is clear, however, that the effects of ethylene on

the ripening of the M. sapientum fruit can be dramatic. Research efforts have been put forward in the

past using large amounts of synthetic ethylene that show conclusively that the gas can cause ripening to

accelerate dramatically when applied in high quantities, but the effect of it in lower, natural quantities

remained undetermined (Tan.)

The intent of this research is to determine precisely the best way to ripen fruit in conditions

resembling that of an average household, which could make baking more efficient and timely or allow

one to eat a fruit that is nearer its peak of ripeness without having to wait as long. This was

accomplished using only commonly available household materials and/or environments easily recreated
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with household materials. One M. sapientum fruit was placed in a standard paper lunch bag, along with

the possibility of another fruit of varying ripeness being added to the bag. These bags were sealed with

tape and placed in incubators set at various temperatures. The ripeness of these bananas was then

measured over the course of five days, to see the effects of the factors on the ripeness.
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Problem Statement

Problem:

To determine the effect of Musa sapientum fruit in varying stages of ripeness and temperature

on the rate of ripening of M. sapientum fruit.

Hypothesis:

If a Musa sapientum fruit is placed with another, already ripe, M. sapientum fruit in a 30 degree

Celsius environment, then it will ripen faster than if it were placed in a 27 degree Celsius environment

without another M. sapientum.

Data Measured:

The independent variables in this experiment are temperature, measured in degrees Celsius,

and the ripeness of the variable M. sapientum fruit, measured on a scale of one to seven, with equal

intervals of approximately how brown, green, and yellow the fruit is. The dependent variable is also the

ripeness of M. sapientum fruit, measured on the same scale as the independent fruit.

The temperatures used, 24, 27, and 30 degrees, were determined by the average room

temperature, average growing temperature, and research that proved that increased temperatures

speed up the ripening process. The varying ripeness stages: unripe, no fruit and fully ripe, were

determined because ripening fruit releases ethylene gas, which is known to have an effect on the rate of

ripening and the varying ripeness stages are believed to have an effect on the amount of the ethylene

gasses released.
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Experimental Design

Materials:

Level 7 Ripe Musa sapientum Fruits (30)

Level 1 Unripe M. sapientum Fruits (99)

Brown Paper Lunch Bags (69)

Incubators (30 C and 27 C) (2)

1 Inch Strips of Tape (69)

Procedure:

1. Place one Level 1 M. sapientum fruit into brown paper bag and seal with tape.

2. Place bag inside 27 C incubator.

3. Let rest for 24 hours.

4. Measure ripeness of M. sapientum fruit inside of the paper bag using Figure 1 below.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for four days.

6. Perform steps 1-5 eight more times, using a different a different fruit and bag each time.

7. Place one Level 1 M. sapientum fruit with one Level 7 M. sapientum fruit into brown paper bag.

8. Place bag inside 30 C incubator.

9. Let rest for 24 hours.

10. Measure ripeness of M. sapientum fruit which was initially a level one inside of the paper bag
using Figure 1 below.

11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for four days.

12. Perform steps 7-11 fourteen more times, using a different a different fruit and bag each time.

13. Place one Level 1 M. sapientum fruit into brown paper bag with one Level 7 M. sapientum fruit.

14. Place bag in room temperature (24 C) environment.

15. Let rest for 24 hours.

16. Measure ripeness of M. sapientum fruit which was initially level one inside of the paper bag
using Figure 1 below.

17. Repeat steps 15 and 16 for four days.

18. Perform steps 13-17 fourteen more times, using a different a different fruit and bag each time.

19. Place two Level 1 M. sapientum fruits into brown paper bag.
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20. Place bag inside 30 C incubator.

21. Let rest for 24 hours.

22. Measure ripeness of one of the M. sapientum fruit inside of the paper bag using Figure 1 below.

23. Repeat steps 21 and 22 for four days, making sure to measure the same fruit on each
consecutive day.

24. Perform steps 19-23 fourteen more times, using a different a different fruit and bag each time.

25. Place two level one M. sapientum fruit into brown paper bag.

26. Place bag inside room temperature (24 C) environment.

27. Let rest for 24 hours.

28. Measure ripeness of one of the M. sapientum fruit inside of the paper bag using Figure 1 below.

29. Repeat steps 27 and 28 for four days, making sure to measure the ripeness of the same fruit on
each consecutive day.

30. Perform steps 25-30 fourteen more times, using a different a different fruit and bag each time.
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Data and Observations

Data:

Table 1
Design of Experiment Values
Fruit Ripeness (from Scale) Temp ( C)
- Standard + - Standard +
1 N/A 7 24 27 30

Table 1, above, shows the values that were used for each variable over the course of the

experiment. These were selected based on the natural conditions in which Musa sapientum fruit grow

and the extremes of the ripeness scale in figure X. The temperatures were achieved with the use of

incubators and the bananas reached their state of ripeness naturally, as stated in the Procedures

section.

Table 2
DOE Data
Ripeness (1-7)
Trial (week) 1 2 3 Avg
Standard 6.00 6.67 6.50 6.39
++ 6.50 6.65 6.80 6.65
-- 4.80 5.90 5.90 5.53
-+ 4.70 5.80 5.30 5.27
+- 6.30 6.80 6.90 6.67

Table 2, shown above, shows the data collected over the course of the experiment shown

summarized based on the effect variable and the specific time it was collected in chronological order.
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Observations:

Table 3
Observations
Date Observation
3/19/15 (-,-) 5 Varied dramatically in ripeness across the surface of the fruit
(+,-) All bananas are waxy on the surface and feel as though they would be easily squished
(+,+) 1 was less warm than the other fruit
3/20/15 (+,+) Matched the positive fruit in the bag
(+,+) 4 has a well-defined line between the brown and green portions of the fruit
3/26/15 (-,-) 3 banana curves at unusual places on the fruit
(-,+) 5 is flat on the front
(-,+) 4 has structures resembling varicose veins across the surface of the fruit
(+,+) 5 is green and brown, with almost no yellow visible on the surface of the fruit
(+,-) fruit all lack yellow but have large amounts of brown and green
(+,-) 2 has experienced a dramatic reduction in size
3/27/15 (+,-) 2 appears to have experienced further size reduction
(-,-) 2 is washed out in color, and lacks vibrancy

Table 3, above, is all of the observations collected using the senses of the researchers

throughout the course of the experiment.

Shrunken M. sapientum fruit

Figure 2. (+,-) 2 Fruit After Shrinking on 3/26/15

Figure 2, shows the fruit that has experienced size reduction mentioned in Table 3 with a

standard mechanical pencil present for scale.


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Line dividing M. sapientum fruit into


two distinct levels of ripeness

Figure 3. (+,+) 4 on 3/20/15

Figure 3 shows an example of defined lines of color change on the surface of the M. sapientum

fruit. Aside from the major occurrences noted in Table 3, the experiment did not have any surprising

occurrences. It was not necessary at any point to deviate from the procedures.
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Data Analysis and Interpretation

It was hypothesized that if a Musa sapientum fruit is placed with another, already ripe, M.

sapientum fruit in a 30 degree Celsius environment, then it will ripen faster than if it were placed in a 27

degree Celsius environment without another M. sapientum. The predictor variables were temperature

in degrees Celsius and the presence of other M. sapientum fruit in varying stages of ripeness. These

were intended to influence the response variable of the ripeness of the initial fruit that was tested.

Table 4
Table of Factors
Temperature (degrees Celsius) Banana Ripeness (on scale)
+ 30 + 7
Standard 27 Standard N/A
- 24 - 1

Table 4, above, shows the predictor variables used in the experiment. The temperature is

indicated in Celsius and ripeness of the non-tested banana as measured against the scale provided (See

Figure 1).

Table 5
Averages for All Trials of Experiment
Standard 6.39
++ 6.65
-- 5.53
-+ 5.27
+- 6.67
Grand Avg 6.03
Table 5, above, shows the average result of all the trials conducted throughout the course of the

experiment which will be used to calculate effect values and for prediction. The grand average of 6.03

was calculated by averaging all of the effect values.


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7
6.5
6
5.5
5
Ripeness of Banana

4.5
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3
0

Figure 4. Standards

Figure 4, above, shows the ripeness of the standard trials on the fourth day of data collection

over the course of the experiment. Overall, there is no real trend in the data, except for a small upward

curve at the beginning, and the standards were mostly consistent at 6.5 on the ripeness scale. It was

also determined that 5.5 and 7 were outliers caused by fluctuations in the experimental design and were

not included in the statistical tests.

-1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5

Figure 5. Range of Standards

Figure 5 represents the range of standards that will be used when testing statistical significance.

The range of standards, 0.5, as determined by subtracting 6.5 and 6, the only remaining standards after

outliers were removed, was multiplied by two. One fence was placed in the positive and one fence in

the negative direction from the number 0 on the dot plot, in this instance at 1 and -1, respectively, to

yield the placement of the standard fences. Any effect values outside of this fence would be deemed

significant.
7 6.66 Coles Corpel 12
6 5.4

Ripeness of Banana
Table 6 5
Effect of Temperature 4
+ (30 C) - (24 C) 3
6.65 5.53 2
6.67 5.27 1
AVG 6.66 5.40 0
EV 1.26 -1 1
Effect of Temp
Figure 6. Effect of Temperature

Figure 6 and Table 6, both above, together represent the effect of the temperature in which the

fruit is stored on its ripeness at the end of the four day period. The effect value of 1.26 was calculated by

taking the average of the high values and the low values and subtracting them. Because 1.26 is outside

of the range of the standard fences set in Figure 2, temperature was deemed statistically significant. This

can also be seen in the steep slope in the figure, which strongly indicates that there was an effect.

7 6.1 5.96
Table 7 6
Ripeness of Banana

Effect of Banana 5
4
+ (7) - (1)
6.65 5.53 3
5.27 6.67 2
AVG 5.96 6.1 1
EV -0.14
0
-1 1
Effect of Banana
Figure 7. Effect of Banana

Figure 7 and Table 7, both above, together represent the effect of the second fruit placed in the

bag on the ripeness of the first fruit at the end of the four day period. The effect value of -0.14 was

calculated by taking the average of the high values and the low values and subtracting them. Because

-0.14 is inside the standard fences in Figure 2, the effect of temperature was not deemed statistically

significant. This is indicated in Figure 4, where the largely flat line segment shows the lack of an effect.
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7 6.67
6.65
6 5.53

Ripeness of Banana
5.27
5
Table 8
4
Interaction of Effects
3
Effect Temp (C)
2
(+) 30 (-) 24
1
Solid line Effect (+) 7 6.65 5.27
Dotted line Banana (-) 1 6.67 5.53 0
\ -1 1
IE 0.12 Effect of Temp

Figure 8. Interaction Effects

Figure 8 and table 8, above, show the effect of the interaction of the temperature and the

second fruits level of ripeness, with an interaction effect value of 0.12, which is not statistically

significant. This was determined by finding the slopes of the two lines, solid and dotted, which represent

the effect of the banana held high and held low, respectively, and subtracting the dotted lines slope

from the solid lines slope. These slopes were found by subtracting the low temperature value from the

high temperature value for both the solid and dotted line and then dividing by two. If one refers to Table

7, they could see that when the ripeness of the added banana is lower, that the resulting ripeness

should be around six on the ripeness scale. It is immediately obvious in Figure 8, however, that this does

not occur on either the dotted or solid lines. The temperature is clearly a determining factor in resulting

ripeness, because both lines start below the expected values based on the presence of another fruit and

end higher, indicating that there is no effect due to interaction.


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-0.14 0.12 1.26


-1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5

Figure 9. Dot plot of effects

Figure 9 represents the statistical test of significance of the effects. The test of statistical

significance shows which effects mattered scientifically and mathematically in the data. To perform this

test, all three effects were placed on the dot plot from Figure 5. Anything outside the bars was

significant. From the data above, it is shown that the effect of the temperature was the only effect to be

statistically significant, which is why it is the only effect listed in the parsimonious prediction equation.

y= 6.03 + 1.26/2 *T + noise

Figure 10. Parsimonious Prediction Equation

Figure 10, above, shows the parsimonious prediction equation. This was determined by the test

of significance in Figure 9 which showed that the only effect that mattered, statistically, was that of

temperature, which is why it is the only one included in the parsimonious prediction equation.

Using the parsimonious prediction equation, one can carry out an interpolated prediction to

predict what would occur if different specifications for the predictor variables were set within the limits

of the original experiment. If a M. sapientum fruit were to be placed in an incubator set to 28.5 degrees

Celsius (halfway between the standard and the high) it would be possible to figure out about how ripe

the average M. sapientum fruit would be after four days of being in that incubator. By plugging the

appropriate value (0.5) into the prediction equation, it was shown that the fruit would have a ripeness

level of 6.345 with variance provided by "noise."

Overall, the effect of temperature was deemed the only significant factor in the experiment and

no other factors in the experiment had a statistically significant impact.


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Conclusion

It was originally hypothesized that if a Musa sapientum fruit is placed with another, already ripe,

M. sapientum fruit in a 30 degree Celsius environment, then it will ripen faster than if it were placed in a

27 degree Celsius environment without another M. sapientum. The hypothesis was rejected. While the

higher temperatures did have an impact on the ripening process, as predicted, the results showed that

the level 1 M. sapientum fruit had a slightly greater impact on the ripening process of the fruit than the

level 7 fruit.

The experiment was conducted to determine the relationship between temperature and

ethylene gas, within the ripening process of an M. sapientum fruit. The higher temperature may have

impacted the bonds in the cell wall or affected the synthesis of proteins within the fruit, allowing for

these results (Paull), while the lower ripeness fruit may have had more ethylene gas to release during

the ripening process which would have increased the rate of ripening, while the already-ripened fruit

had already released the majority of its ethylene, meaning it had less to contribute to the ripening

process of the fruit it was bagged with (Tan).

It was determined that the most efficient way to accelerate the rate of ripening of one unripe

M. sapientum fruit is to place two fruits that are unripe in a higher temperature environment. The

research agreed with most of the other research that was found. The higher temperatures sped up the

ripening process and the cooler temperatures slowed it down (Paull), as was expected. The higher

amount of ethylene gas, which was introduced in higher quantities into the environment during the

ripening process of the low-leveled fruit, also sped up the ripening process (Asif, Blankenship, Tan), but

not in a way that was deemed statistically significant.

While there were no experimental errors noted, the experimental design could still be

improved. To make these improvements to the experimental design, a third incubator could have been

used to keep the consistent temperature of 24 C, instead of a likely variable room environment subject
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to small changes due to sunlight or other factors. Also, more M. sapientum fruit could have been used to

gain more information and to further compensate for natural differences in the fruit themselves.

This research has many practical applications. It will benefit stores because M. sapientum fruit is

marketed mainly through its ripe appearance, which can be more easily managed with knowledge of

these results. This research will also benefit consumers with an appetite for this fruit as it can help

reduce the time from purchase to consumption by allowing consumers to make more informed choices

about what to eat, when, and how to prepare for that situation.

In conclusion, the ripening rate of M. sapientum fruit is most greatly influenced by the

temperature of the storage environment and, to a lesser degree, the presence of another unripe fruit in

the same space.


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Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge Dennis Coles, Delynn Adkins-Coles, Anne Corpel and Xavier

Corpel for providing us with materials.


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State University, 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 30 Jan.

2015. <http://postharvest.tfrec.wsu.edu/pages/PC2000F>.

Isopan Insulation. Banana Ripeness Chart. Digital image. Banana Ripening. Isopan Insulation,

n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2015. <http://isopaninsulation.com/technologies/banana-ripening>.

Paull, Robert E., and Nancy Jung Chen. "Heat Treatment and Fruit Ripening." Postharvest

Biology and Technology21.1 (2000): 21-37. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/

science/article/pii/S0925521400001629>.

Tan, Quoc Le Pham, et al. "The Effects of Ethephon on the Ripening of Vietnamese Latundan

Bananas (Musa sapientum)." Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture 26.3 (2014):229+.

Academic OneFile. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/

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3d47267f40935c7a171ccf9cc>.

"Technical Standards and Protocol for the Fruit Ripening Chamber in India." National

Horticulture Board. National Horticulture Board, Feb. 2011. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.

<http://www.nhb.gov.in/guideline/cs4.pdf>.