Breaking Rules
Alexa Timlick
Collingwood School
Floor Location : J 035 H

The Breaking Rules experiment investigates the five second rule and, if the five second does not actually exist, how long would it take for bacteria to accumulate and how much bacteria would accumulate on a certain food item. In turn why would bacteria accumulate on a certain food item faster or slower and how much bacteria accumulates compared to other food items. The design of the experiment was to use three different foods(with different qualities) to determine if the five second rule existed. If found out the five second rule did not exist, the experiment was design to be able to determine the different qualities of a food that would make it more susceptible to bacteria accumulation and growth. The three foods that were used were an apple, Skittles and Wine Gums. It was later found out the five second rule did not exist and when an item is dropped, bacteria accumulates almost immediately. Continuing on the best qualities of an item that would result in more bacterial growth is: a ph level ~4.5-8, a high sugar content and a medium water content. The best ph level quality was found out by examining the results (Skittles resulted in the most bacterial growth and apple in the least) and finding the ph levels of the foods. Skittles with a ph level of ~4.5 had the best environment for bacterial growth and Wine Gums had a ph level of ~6. The apple had a ph level of ~3; so below ~4.5 ph the results of bacterial growth rapidly decreases. Around neutral bacteria still can accumulate and grow at a steady pace. The sugar content plays a major factor in accumulation and growth of bacteria because the sugar content acts as a food source for the bacteria. The skittles again did the best with the highest sugar content. The apple had the lowest sugar content and had the lowest bacterial growth. Finally the water content affects the bacterial growth because bacteria need water to dissolve their food (which in this case would be the sugar content). In the end it was found the five second rule does not exist and the best qualities in a food for bacterial growth and accumulation was found. rn