# What should be evaluated in food decomposition experiment?

## Briefing

Some days ago I noted that 3 cookies left on my desk since 3 months ago are still "fresh", and by that I mean... not spongy like some cookies that get soft after some time outside.
However this particular brand of cookies do get spongy, I'm not sure why don't these do!

I also noted that there is a cockroaches/flies infestation in a home nearby, so these are getting in my house, but none of those insects dare to eat the cookies.

So, I decided to make an experiment inspired in the well known experiment of Watermelon vs McDonalds Burger where a watermelon decomposes extremely quick, and the burger does not. This article even mentions one that hasn't decomposed after two decades!
I understand that watermelon decomposes so fast mainly because of the sugar/water that it contains, but that is another story, let me tell you what I want to do.

## Problem

In this experiment the only notable variables taken into account were: Visual appearance (picture), and time.

For my cookies I want to do a similar experiment, but I want to know which variables should I consider, so far I only have these in mind, but I want to know what else can be considered for food products:

• Date of packaging
• "Best before" date label
• Visual appearance (daily pics)
• Time gone by before going spongy
• Humidity of room (3 daily measures across the day)
• Temperature of room (3 daily measures across the day)

And the samples will be:

• Being in a closed room (eg. my room)
• Being in an open room (eg. dinning room)
• Exposing to insects directly (eg. roaches, ants, flies)
• Adding a drop of "morning saliva" (mainly for the bacteria)

### Question is

In general, what do I need for food experiments? I think these are OK, but maybe I'm overdoing it on some, and maybe I need to consider some other parameters.
My experiment's objective is to see if it decomposes, why does it take X time to do so, or why doesn't it decompose at all, if it is safe to eat, or if it shenanigans like McBurgers.

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## migrated from academia.stackexchange.comAug 24 '13 at 3:36

This question came from our site for academics and those enrolled in higher education.

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a specific experiment - possibly better suited to Biology.SE – user3795 Aug 24 '13 at 0:47
Agreed. This question is off topic for Academia, which deals with the academic profession, not questions related to academic studies! – aeismail Aug 24 '13 at 3:35
Thanks for the clarification. – Goodwine Aug 24 '13 at 23:14