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Sound needs always a medium for transportation.

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Enhancing the Ripening Process of Mangoes in a Home Environment

Welcome to our project webpage!

Our project title is Enhancing the Ripening Process of Mangoes in a Home Environment.

Mangoes are the world's most popular tropical fruit, however we often import them in from far off countries such as Pakistan and Australia. As such, these mangoes often arrive in Singapore raw. This project aims to find out how to accelerate the ripening of mangoes by using common house tools. To do this, we place the mangoes in 6 different setups that can be replicated easily at home, then after a time period of a week, we use a potassium manganate reducing sugar test to determine how ripe the mangoes are. We then place 3 mangoes with a different fruit each, namely the apple, banana and mango. However, we will shorten the time period to 6 days as these mangoes are expected to ripen faster. Our hypothesis is that the mango placed in the dark in a closed environment and at room temperature will ripen the fastest. The mango placed the apple will ripen faster compared to the mangoes placed with bananas or other mangoes. We found that our hypothesis was correct, and the mango placed in the dark at room temperature while enclosed ripened the fastest. The mangoes in the fridge ripened slowest and the mangoes in natural light in the open came in second. The mangoes placed with apples ripened significantly faster than mangoes placed with bananas or mangoes. We can conclude that temperature, lighting and enclosure do affect the ripening of mangoes. We can also conclude that apples accelerate mango ripening more than bananas or other mangoes.

We hope to achieve a further understanding of how mangoes ripen and how several conditions can accelerate or decelerate the ripening of mangoes. Our curiousity in mango ripening was aroused when we found that many people claimed that the best way to accelerate ripening was to place the mango in a bag as seen at "". We then found that the presence of other fruits affects ripening as well, as seen at " ". We hope to answer how and why some conditions affect ripening, namely lighting, enclosure and temperature. We also hope to find out what the optimum environment for ripening is. Our main focus is finding the optimum environment for mango ripening.

Our independent variables are: Temperature, lighting and enclosure. Our dependent variable is the ripeness of the mangoes after a fixed period of time. Our constants are the location of the experiment, the time period of the experiment and the breed of mango

The following apparatus was used: Blender Pipette Test tubes Shaker Beakers Stopwatch Stirring rods

1)Cut open the mangoes 2)Blend the flesh 3)Take 2ml of mango, 8ml of deionised water, 2ml of sulphuric acid 4)Place in test tube and stir thouroughly 5)Add 1ml of potassium manganate and place in shaker 6)Use stopwatch to find how long it takes for solution to turn clear 7)Repeat step 3-6 for other samples of mango 8)If time for any sample is <82 secs, continue to step 9 9)Take 1ml of mango, 9ml of water, 2ml of sulphuric acid 10)Repeat step 4-6

This graph represents the time taken for glucose mixed with water to turn clear using the permanganate test. We used it to determine the glucose concentration of the mango. We used the linear part of the graph from 10% to 20%.

This graph is an example of our results from placing the mango in different environments. The y axis represents the amount of glucose at g/100ml. You can see from the graph that the mango placed in the dark in a closed environment at room temperature is clearly the ripest mango, with 150g of glucose per 100ml of water.

This graph is an example of our results when we placed the mango with different fruits. The y axis represents the amount of glucose at g/100ml. You can clearly see that the mango that was place with the apple has ripened the most, with 160g of glucose per 100ml of water.

We can conclude that enclosure, temperature and lighting do affect the ripening of the mango. The presence of some other fruits such as apple does accelerate the ripening slightly. Our findings fit our hypothesis as stated in the abstract. We believe that enclosure affects ripening as enclosure traps ethene, a gas given out by fruits to induce ripening. This increases the concentration of ethene gas in the area, thus accelerating the ripening. We found that a low temperature slows down ripening almost completely, but we were unable to test the mangoes in a high temperature environment as it would be difficult to replicate that in a home environment. We found that darkness is beneficial to ripening. We have come to a conclusion that the darkness stimulates the mango skin into producing more ethene. As to why the apples caused the mangoes to ripen faster, we have come to a tentative conclusion. Ethene is biosynthesised by the amino acid L-methionine, and various other plant hormones such as ACC oxidase catalyse various stages of the biosynthesis. Therefore we theorise that these plant hormones are present in different amounts in apples, mangoes and bananas. However, to prove this would require the measurement of these hormones, which has not been done yet. An interesting finding that we have made is that the mangoes placed with the bananas and other mangoes had begun to ferment. Only the mangoes placed with

the apples did not ferment. However, we are enable so far to come to a conclusion about why this occurs.

Limitations and Further Work

There are some limitations to our work, such as the judgement of the endpoint of the permanganate test. The solution never fully turns clear due to the yellow colouring of the mango, so the endpoint of the test is decided by us. Also, the ripeness of the mango at the start of the experiment may be slightly different. This might affect the concentration of glucose at the end of the experiment. Finally, we were unable to complete three sets of data, as the mangoes went out of season, and we were unable to find any more raw mangoes of the same breed. As to further work, we would complete 3 sets of data to establish a clear trend, and we would do more research as to why darkness affects ripening. We could also attempt testing how much ethene a mango emits. This would make our data more complete and more meaningful.

L. D. Owens, M. Lieberman, and A. Kunishi. (1970). Inhibition of Ethylene Production by Rhizobitoxine. Retrieved July 2010 from Morris Lieberman, James E. Baker and Marcia Sloger. (1977). Influence of Plant Hormones on Ethylene Production in Apple, Tomato, and Avocado Slices during Maturation and Senescence. Retrieved July 2010 from Stanley P. Burg and Kenneth V. Thimann. (1959). Studies on the Ethylene production of Apple tissue. Retrieved July 2010 from Margret Sauter. (2003). Ethylene. Retrieved July 2010 from Fantes Kitchen Ware Shop Fruit ripener. Fantes, Inc. Accessed at on [28 Jan 2010] Apfel, Amelia. (2010) Why Do Mangoes Ripen Quickly When Placed in Paper Bags?. eHow, Inc. Accessed at on [28 Jan 2010] Curry, Eric. (1998) Ethylene in fruit physiology. Washington State University. Accessed at on [28 Jan 2010]

Rice, Steven. (2001) One bad apple: Synchrony in ripening fruit. Botanical Society of America. Accessed at on [28 Jan 2010] Helmenstine, Anne. Fruit ripening and Ethylene experiment., Inc. Accessed at on [28 Jan 2010]

We would like to thank our mentor for his guidance and support, all lab staff for their help and advice, and our parents for their time and support.