We are going to perform a mold bread experiment to grow our own mold and find out whether mold does indeed grow faster at higher temperatures.
In ten days you will be able to answer this important question and make a contribution to science!
But what is mold? What makes it grow?
Mold is something that we often take for granted, as something that makes us have to throw the bread away or the cheese smell bad.
Mold is, in fact, a fascinating organism which has had many different uses over the years and our lives would not be the same without it.
Most of us know that food seems to become moldy more quickly in the summer than in the winter when it is colder. Food in refrigerators seems to keep longer than food left out in the sun. Is this true? Does temperature really affect the rate at which mold grows?
Please note that some people are allergic to mold; ask your doctor or parents. If this is the case, do not pick the Mold Bread Experiment. Always wear gloves and a mask, wash your hands, and don’t eat or drink whilst you are performing this study.
In the Mold Bread Experiment we are trying to prove that;
"Mold grows quicker at higher temperatures."(Hypothesis)
Because each square of bread is 100 cm2, you can express your results as a percentage. For each of the bread types, A, B or C average the amount of mold grown over the ten days and write these figures into a table.
You can then plot this information onto a graph and begin to explore your results. You can plot the amount of mold on each bread sample and compare it to the number of days, like in the diagram below. This can be done with a sheet of graph paper and colored pens or on a computer.
Could you replicate the graph below or is your graph different? We have done this, but will not give you our answer, so you can test for yourself!
The food industry spends millions of dollars every year on refrigeration and it is very important that they know what temperature they need to stop mold from growing. Moldy food must be thrown away and this costs restaurants and manufacturers a lot of money.
For companies using mold to make food or medicine they need to know at which temperature mold grows best. The faster the mold grows, the quicker they can sell their product and make money.
Now that you have finished and obtained some results, maybe you want to see if other variables affect the rate at which mold grows. Maybe you could keep the temperature the same for all of the samples but use different types of bread.
You could try adding moisture to the slices or putting different amounts of sugar or lemon juice onto the slices. As long as you only vary one thing at a time, you can make some interesting studies about mold.
Temperature is not the only thing that affects the rate of mold growth so feel free to try and find out more about this interesting organism.
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