Why Does Food Spoil?

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In this activity, learners will conduct an experiment to discover methods of reventing foot mold growth on food. Explore concepts of chemisty and biology while experimenting with ways to preserve fruit. This activity uses low cost meterials to and can be done over a few days. Activity includes step-by-step instructions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • One apple
  • Five containers (small jars or drinking glasses will work)
  • 1 cup salt water (1 tablespoon of salt dissolved in water)
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Marker, sticky notes, or other method for labeling the containers


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Viruses and Bacteria
      • Protists and Fungi
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


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Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Carnegie Science Center, 2021