The Effect of a Wrapping on the Amount of Mold

Table: 8
Experimentation location: Home
Regulated Research (Form 1c): No
Project continuation (Form 7): No

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Abstract:

The purpose of this experiment was to determine the best type of wrap I had in my household. The hypothesis was if cream cheese is held in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and beeswax wrap, then the aluminum foil will have the least amount of mold. The independent variable was the type of wrap, and the dependent variable was the amount of mold. The constants were the bowls, amount of cheese, size of wrap, and what room they are in. A total of 32 cups with one 1 ounce cube of cream cheese each were used in the experiment. 8 weren't covered, 8 were covered with beeswax wrap, 8 with plastic wrap, and 8 with aluminum foil. The 8 without a wrap was the control group. All of them were checked by the human eye for mold every 24 hours for a week. The control group shriveled up and didn't get much mold, the plastic wrap had the best results, the aluminum foil had the second best results, and the beeswax wrap had the worst. Because the aluminum foil did not have the best results, the hypothesis was rejected. Further testing could include using different food items.

Bibliography/Citations:

 

"What Is Mold?" WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/women/qa/what-is-mold. Accessed 16 Oct. 2020. 

Types of Cheese - Farming Friends. http://farmingfriends.com/2007/02/types-of-cheese/. Accsessed 17 Oct. 2020

"Foil or Plastic Wrap: Which Is Better?" SFC B2B Resource Center, 28 Aug. 2014, https://www.shoesforcrews.com/worksafely/life-work/foil-or-plastic-wrap-which-is-better/. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

"How to Use Beeswax Wrap and Ditch Plastic Wrap." Let's Eat Cake, 28 Feb. 2019, https://www.letseatcake.com/beeswax-wraps/. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

Mold l CDC. 6 Aug. 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/mold/default.htm. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020. 

 


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Research Plan:

 

This project is titled; The Effect of a Wrapping on the Amount of Mold

I created this project to see which household wrap would be the best at holding food, since items in my house are always going stale before we get the chance to eat them. I’ve developed a hypothesis, question, list of materials, procedure, risk analysis, error analysis, and citations

This experiment is unique because it uses beeswax wrap. I’ve scavenged many sites to see if there were any experiments the same as mine, and although many did use aluminum foil and plastic wrap, I couldn’t find a single one that used beeswax wrap. 

To my knowledge, this experiment was not affected by COVID-19.

Hypothesis: If cream cheese is held in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and beeswax wrap, then the aluminum foil will have the least amount of mold.

Materials:

  • Four 226.8g container of cream cheese

  • 825.8 sq cm of aluminum foil

  • 825.8 sq cm of plastic wrap

  • Eight individual 10.2cm square beeswax wraps (or a 825.8 sq cm roll)

  • Thirty-two 28.4g disposable cups 

  • Scissors

  • Tape measure 

  • Knife

Procedure:

  1. Measure the dimensions of the beeswax wraps (or cut into eight 10.2cm squares)

  2. Cut out 8 sheets of aluminum foil and plastic wrap to the same dimensions as the beeswax.

  3. Cut 28.4g cubes of cream cheese.

  4. Place the cubes into 32 disposable cups.

  5. Cover 8 bowls with aluminum foil, 8 bowls with plastic wrap, and 8 bowls with beeswax wrap. Leave 8 cups uncovered.

  6. Place all the cups on a tray in a designated area to run the experiment

  7. Check to see if the cheese has any visible mold every 24 hours for a week.

Risk Analysis: 

Mold: the experiment must be done in a dry, well-ventilated room that isn’t frequented by members of the household. The experimenter must wear a mask and wash their hands before and after checking the experiment.

Error Analysis:

    There were several random errors in the procedure. Imprecise measurements which could be difficult to replicate were often caused by measuring the cream cheese using the lines on the package and human judgement. Different packages of cream cheese could have had different water content which might have affected the data. The wrap size also varied slightly due to human inconsistencies. There was a systemic error in collecting the data. Due to the fact that there were no tools involved in this experiment, the data that was collected was based solely on the superficial amount of mold on the cheese, as opposed to the total amount of mold within the cheese. In order for these errors to not impact the results, a large number of replicates of each level would need to be run, as well as using a tool that could measure the total amount of mold in the cheese to collect the data. 

 

 

 

 

Questions and Answers

 

1. What was the major objective of your project and what was your plan to achieve it? 

The goal of my project was to find out the best wrap I had in my household. 

       a. Was that goal the result of any specific situation, experience, or problem you encountered?

The goal was the result of food items in my household going bad very quickly, and many arguments about it. 

       b. Were you trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or test a hypothesis?

I was trying to solve the problem of food going bad too quickly in my house. 

2. What were the major tasks you had to perform in order to complete your project?

       a. For teams, describe what each member worked on.

 

Procedure:

  1. Measure the dimensions of the beeswax wraps (or cut into eight 10.2cm squares)

  2. Cut out 8 sheets of aluminum foil and plastic wrap to the same dimensions as the beeswax.

  3. Cut 28.4g cubes of cream cheese.

  4. Place the cubes into 32 disposable cups.

  5. Cover 8 bowls with aluminum foil, 8 bowls with plastic wrap, and 8 bowls with beeswax wrap. Leave 8 cups uncovered.

  6. Place all the cups on a tray in a designated area to run the experiment

  7. Check to see if the cheese has any visible mold every 24 hours for a week.

 

 

3. What is new or novel about your project?

Answering all aspects in one response: 

This experiment is unique because it uses beeswax wrap. I’ve scavenged many sites to see if there were any experiments the same as mine, and although many did use aluminum foil and plastic wrap, I couldn’t find a single one that used beeswax wrap. 

       a. Is there some aspect of your project's objective, or how you achieved it that you haven't done before?

       b. Is your project's objective, or the way you implemented it, different from anything you have seen?

       c. If you believe your work to be unique in some way, what research have you done to confirm that it is?

 

4. What was the most challenging part of completing your project?

The most challenging part of completing my project was having to figure out how to cut the cheese evenly and the same every time. I went through a whole pack of cream cheese before I found a good solution.

      a. What problems did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?

Preparing the cream cheese was the only big problem I faced. I overcame it by asking for help and experimenting with different ideas to find a solution.

      b. What did you learn from overcoming these problems?

I learned from this experience that sometimes you can't use force to get something to work. 

5. If you were going to do this project again, are there any things you would you do differently the next time?

Error Analysis: There were several random errors in the procedure. Imprecise measurements which could be difficult to replicate were often caused by measuring the cream cheese using the lines on the package and human judgement. Different packages of cream cheese could have had different water content which might have affected the data. The wrap size also varied slightly due to human inconsistencies. There was a systemic error in collecting the data. Due to the fact that there were no tools involved in this experiment, the data that was collected was based solely on the superficial amount of mold on the cheese, as opposed to the total amount of mold within the cheese. In order for these errors to not impact the results, a large number of replicates of each level would need to be run, as well as using a tool that could measure the total amount of mold in the cheese to collect the data. 

6. Did working on this project give you any ideas for other projects? 

I thought that I might be able to do another experiment with another type of food, specifically strawberries.

7. How did COVID-19 affect the completion of your project?

COVID-19 had no affect on the completion of my project.