Rotting food and half life

  • Thread starter cesaruelas
  • Start date
  • #1
53
0
Is the process of rotting food or any organic material directly related to the half life of its components?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
DaveC426913
Gold Member
20,000
3,271
Is the process of rotting food or any organic material directly related to the half life of its components?
No. Rotting food occurs at a cellular level. Bacteria attack the organics and break them down.
 
  • #3
53
0
No. Rotting food occurs at a cellular level. Bacteria attack the organics and break them down.

Organic material in an ideally bacteria-free environment would never decompose? or only then would its decomposition be linked to the half life of its components? BTW, thank you for answering.
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
Gold Member
20,000
3,271
Organic material in an ideally bacteria-free environment would never decompose?
It would. Bacteria and fungus are a major source, but the organic material will decompose on its own as well. Cells leak. Fluids mix. Components lose integrity.

or only then would its decomposition be linked to the half life of its components?
If you can find any evidence suggesting a link between normal food rotting and radioactive decay, I would be quite surprised.
 
  • #5
Borek
Mentor
28,816
3,318
If you can find any evidence suggesting a link between normal food rotting and radioactive decay, I would be quite surprised.

The notion of half life is not limited to radioactive decay.
 
  • #6
DaveC426913
Gold Member
20,000
3,271
The notion of half life is not limited to radioactive decay.

Then perhaps the OP should be explicit.
 
  • #7
53
0
My point is, can you, under certain conditions (bacteria free, certain temperature, etc.) predict when will organic matter be "unconsumable" for a human being given you only know the halflife of its components and the concentration of each in the material to analize?
 
  • #8
russ_watters
Mentor
21,014
7,698
Do you mean radioactive half life or some other kind?
 
  • #9
53
0
I originally meant radioactive half life (since I was not aware the term was used to refer to any other type of half life). Is it linked to that half life or is there an equivalent concept for decomposition of organic molecules (proteins, carbohidrates, etc)? Thanks for your answers.
 
  • #10
russ_watters
Mentor
21,014
7,698
The term can be used to describe any kind of exponential decay - for example, basketball team lifespan in a tournament.

However, for your question: our food is not significantly radioactive, so radioactive half life plays no role whatsoever in its decay as a food source.
 
  • #11
63
0
Not rotting in the exact sense, but may pertain to this thread as an example of degradation of food items without bacteria or fungi: Browning (food process).
 

Related Threads on Rotting food and half life

  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
10K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
12K
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
740
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
3K
Top