Running Head: EFFECT OF LIGHTING ON HOW A BANANA

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Running Head: EFFECT OF LIGHTING ON HOW A BANANA RIPENS
The Effect of Lighting on how a Banana Ripens
Jacob Christopher Richardson
Liberty Union High School
Friday, November 18
Kevin King
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THE EFFECT OF LIGHTING ON HOW A BANANA RIPENS
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Introduction
This experiment will be researching the effect of lighting on how (physically) a banana
ripens. This experiment is interesting because it involves the proses of taking regular (yellow)
bananas and making them blue. The expected outcome of this is for the bananas to turn blue in
the black light box and ripen regularly in the white light box.
History
This topic has been studied by universities all around the world and in online journals. It
started off as an internet myth and now is working on becoming a house-hold name.
One scientist that has researched this topic is the Columbia University in New York. An
explanation of what research this scientist did is by means of various spectroscopic techniques,
the team analyzed the main structure in the breakdown products. In doing this they found a
propionate ester group which is a product never found before in a Chlorophyll break down
product. (Source #2)
Another scientist that has studied this topic is the University of Innsbruck in Austria. An
explanation of what research this scientist did is the researchers believe the strange coloring is
produced by the breakdown of the chlorophyll (or a proses called catabolism) that is caused by
the exposure to an ultraviolet light. (Source #1)
These Concepts have changed over the years because at first it was believed to be just
another internet myth but now is being researched by colleges all over the world.
Significance
This topic is important because if riper bananas become a brighter blue under a UV light
then that could help people to know how ripe a banana is and when it is best for consumption.
THE EFFECT OF LIGHTING ON HOW A BANANA RIPENS
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The expected outcome is for the bananas to turn blue under the UV light. What is hoped to be
learned is if bananas react to ripening under a UV light.
Facts
Some known facts about this experiment are that the first two teams to investigate into
this topic are the University of Innsbruck in Austria and the University of Columbia in New
York. This phenomenon was discovered and published in 2008. Most banana eating animals can
see light in the UV spectrum. As a banana ripens its chlorophyll begins to break down and get
converted into NCC’s or (Nonfluorescent Chlorophyll Catabolites). (Xie 2008). NCC’s are
found in the peals of ripening fruit like apples, bananas, and pears. (Xie 2008)
Vocabulary
Some terms that have been used in this paper are Chlorophyll, ultra violet, and ripen. The
word Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in the chloroplast of plant cells. Ultra VioletPertaining to a band of electromagnetic radiation having wavelength that are shorter than violet
light. Ripen is to become or make ripe, mature, age, cure, ect.– (Websters,2002)
Methods and Materials
Previous research might affect this experiment by giving detail as to what happens at a
molecular level and how it happens. This is different to research that has been done before
because it is not going as in depth as the others by looking at the cells of the banana but instead
looking at the entire banana as one. This is similar to other research that has been done before
because it is attempting to turn the bananas blue using a UV light.
Some materials that will be used in this experiment are six bananas (three in each box),
two dark boxes, one UV light, and one regular white light.
THE EFFECT OF LIGHTING ON HOW A BANANA RIPENS
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a. Hypothesis: If the lighting in the box changes than so will the color of the chlorophyll
in the bananas.
b. Manipulated Variable: Lighting in the boxes.
c. Responding Variable: Color of the banana.
d. Levels: White light and UV light
e. Number of trials: Three bananas in each box.
f. Constants: Type of banana, type of boxes, oxygen levels, humidity levels.
g. Control: Lighting in the boxes.
Results
The effect of lighting on how banana ripens is displayed in chart 1.1. The lighting in the
room (black light, and white light) are the manipulated variables. The responding variable is the
level of blueness. Since all the results for this experiment are zero then the mode is zero. The
frequency distribution of this experiment is 0 for blue and 4 for no change except for all the
bananas turning brown due to the ripening process of the bananas. The range for the experiment
is 0 since all of the bananas did not turn blue and all ripened regularly all my numbers were
zeros.
Title 1.1
THE EFFECT OF LIGHTING ON HOW A BANANA RIPENS
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Effect of lighting on how a banana
ripens
Axis Title
1
Trial one
0.5
Trial two
0
Average
White light
Black light
Axis Title
Column1
White
light
Black light
Trial one
Trial two
0
0
Conclusion
The purpose of this experiment was to find out
Average
0
0
0
0
THE EFFECT OF LIGHTING ON HOW A BANANA RIPENS
References
Chlorophyll. (2002). In M. Agnes (Ed.), Webster’s New World College Dictionary Fourth Edition (4th ed.,
p. 258). Indianpolis, IN: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Physics. (n.d.). In Dictionary.com. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/physics
United Press International, Inc. (UPI). (2008, October 22). Study: Ripe bananas look blue in UV light.
Angewandte Chemie. Retrieved from http://www.fofweb.com/
activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE40&SID=5&iPin=UPI-20081022-12130700&SingleRecord=True
Xie, Y. (2008, October 15). Glowing, blue bananas [Web page journal]. Retrieved from Yun Xie website:
http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2008/10/glowing-blue-bananas.ars
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