MadSci Network: Other

Re: When at room temperature why does the lime rot faster than the lemon?

Date: Fri Apr 13 09:35:33 2001
Posted By: Alfred Bushway, Professor of Food Science
Area of science: Other
ID: 986415813.Ot

Hi Ashley,

You have made an interesting observation with your experiment with lemons 
and limes. There are a number of possible reasons for your observations. 
First, do you know if the age of the lemons and limes (time from when they 
were harvested) was the same. One of the fruits may have been much older 
than the other. The methods of harvesting can also influence the number of 
microorganisms on the surface of the fruit. The more spoilage organisms 
(bacteria, yeasts & molds) on the surface the faster the rate of spoilage 
once they are introduced into the pulp. The method you used to cut a piece 
out of the fruit can also influence the number of microorganisms that enter 
the pulp. Did you wash the fruit before making the cut? Did you use a 
washed and sanitized knife to make the cuts? Did you make the cut in the 
lemon first and than used the same knife (without washing and sanitizing) 
to cut the lime? All of these things can influence the rate at which a food 
product will spoil. I hope this information may provide several resons for 
the observations you made with your lemon and lime experiment.


Al Bushway
Professor of Food Science   

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