Students determine what factors affect microbe growth in food by designing experiments to control intrinsic and extrinsic factors, predict the probability of microbe growth on foods, and design an experiment to prove their hypothesis about the preservative effects of pickling. Activities and topics include identification of microbes in and on food, food spoilage, moisture equilibrium, water activity, nutrients, and food as an ecosystem. STEM extension activities include evaluating the effectiveness of garlic as an antimicrobial agent and the demonstration of Koch’s Postulate.
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