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I am planning to do a little experiment on investigating the relationship between food (organic) decay and the electric current.

I am going to place the food (ex.banana) on top of an aluminum foil, then hook the foil to a battery.

enter image description here

However, this doesn't seem convincing that it's going to work.

Is there any better way to experiment this?


I'm not sure if this falls under "biology" category

Also, it doesn't have to be banana, it could be avocado, lettuce, apple etc.

Thank you

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  • $\begingroup$ What do you expect will happen? $\endgroup$ – bpedit Jan 31 '17 at 3:45
  • $\begingroup$ I expect that food decay will slow down since the current might zap the bacterias @bpedit $\endgroup$ – didgocks Jan 31 '17 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ Nice drawing of the experiment. However, I do not expect you will find anything. As a reference: electroporation is an extremely common method used in laboratories, many bacterial cells survive, and a pulse of ~12500 V/cm is used. Please don't try this at home, because I expect already a fraction of this pulse will lead to exploding bananas. $\endgroup$ – VonBeche Jan 31 '17 at 17:35
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Bananas, unless you like mush, become inedible long before any bacterial decay. The brown spots and softening that occur are due to ripening processes in the banana. Some of the amino acids in the banana are metabolized to produce ethylene. As with other fruits, ethylene acts as a hormone to accelerate the conversion of starches to sugars. The banana gets sweeter while at the same time getting musher. http://www.livestrong.com/article/466183-is-eating-a-banana-with-brown-spots-bad-for-you/

As far as your experimental design, you would need to stick electrodes into the banana to attempt to run a current through it. But I doubt this will work because, to conduct the current inside the banana, there needs to be a certain amount of water, free ions and the structure to allow the ions to move. In my opinion, bananas have too little moisture content for this to occur.

Aiming to affect bacteria on the surface of the banana might be a doable experiment. But the methods that come to my mind involve immersing the banana in an electrolytic solution possibly leading to un-yumminess and not at all guaranteed to work.

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