30
Jan 07

Food Science Day 2: 7 – Flying Fruit Followup

Proven By Science + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 889 views

2005’s hugely successful Flying Fruit Experiment answered a burning question but gave rise to another. The small and unassuming apricot was the winner but supply problems meant that this was the only bum-shaped fruit available in our sample. We began to wonder about the potential of other bumfruits. Can the smoother, harder nectarine be thrown so far that it would hit you in the back of the head? Could a peach be sent into orbit one day? Once again, we set out for the FreakyTrigger comestible-chucking range in Peckham Rye Park.

Aim: To determine which bum-shaped fruit can be thrown the furthest

Apparatus: Throwing mechanism (Alang T.), measuring device (Mark C.), adjudicators (Pete B., Sarah C.), apricots, peaches, nectarines

Method: Each fruit was hurled as hard as possible by the throwing mechanism and the distance travelled was measured by pacing the distance from the throwing mechanism to the crashed fruit, the exact point of impact being determined by the adjudicators. Ties were broken with a second throw.

Alang Flings Fruit

Results:

LEAGUE TABLE

Bumfruit 1st Throw Tie-Break
Peach 42 n/a
Apricot 41 37
Nectarine 41 35

SCIENCE-A-RIFIC CHART

Conclusion:
Once again, our expectations were confounded by cold hard evidence. The smooth surface of the nectarine was not enough to carry it further than its hairier cousins. The fact that the peach fuzz did not produce the expected drag would have remained a mystery had it not been for the extensive interweb research that turned up this entirely undoctored electron microscope image of a typical peach’s surface:

Food Science has caught fruit in the act of evolving the power of flight. Only time will tell what this means for the historic relationship between man and peach. It’ll probably involve big nets or rifles though.

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