Things I can't get my head around

  • Thread starter Monique
  • Start date

Monique

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,104
63
I used to have a summer job in agriculture, peeling flower bulbs and also planting tiny little plant shoots, but there are a few things I don't understand..

1) how do they remove the pit out of olives or cherries and keep the fruit intact, whenever I try to do that they are left mangled in many pieces.. I don't see how they get them out.
2) how do they process mangoes so that the stone is removed, but the fruit is in neat pieces. Whenever I try to eat a mango it becomes really messy, it is impossible to eat that fruit.
3) how do they remove corn from the cob, those things are impossible to get off!
 
310
2
1. There's this cool look looking machine that takes a needle and 'punches' through it to push out the seed while holding the fruit intact. Either that or genetic modification.

2. I've never seen 'processed' mangoes before, but when I eat them I take them out the same way as an avocado, but in 4 peices instead of 2, not too difficult after some practice.

3. Scrape it. As long as it's raw, if you try that after cooking it you just squish it.
 
217
0
1.http://shop.bakerscatalogue.com/items/Cherry___Olive_Pitter.html [Broken]

2. I have no idea

3. Back in the day they used a threshing machine. I imagine it is something more complicated today but probably not as cool. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshing_machine
 
Last edited by a moderator:

FredGarvin

Science Advisor
5,050
6
In teerms of the mango, this is how the big guys do it:

Cut the mango into three pieces. Estimate where the stone is and cut down along two sides of it, trying to get as much fruit as possible. That will leave you with two sections with a flat side and a rounded side. Take a paring knife and, looking at the flat side, cut the fruit in a grid pattern, going all the way down until you get to the skin. Do not cut through the skin. You'll do vertical cuts and horizontal cuts to make a bunch of squares but it is still attached to the skin. Now, looking at the flat side still, hold it so that your thumbs are on the flat side and your fingers curl under to the round side. Now simply turn the fruit inside out (i.e. push up with your fingers while holding your thumbs stationary). The nice square pieces will pop out and you just run the knife along the skin to seperate them.

It's a lot easier than it sounds here.

Hey....loookie here...I could have saved some typing:
http://phrogz.net/MangoCubes/
 
1,120
7
I have a stone pitter from the 1920's, its like a miniplunger. You put the stem side down in it and push with your thumb..and presto!
I freeze my own fresh corn. I just take a sharp parring knife and cut the raw kernels off as close to the cob as i can.
 

Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,349
51
I'm not sure that I've ever eaten a mango. If I have, it was already prepared and served cut up, because I know I've never tried to cut the thing.

The olive pitter thing has been covered.

With corn on the cob, it's easiest to cut off the kernels when they are raw, but I have gotten them off of a cooked corn cob the same way too. Some mush when it's already cooked, but not too bad (when little kids are around who are still too young to eat the corn directly off the cob, this ends up being done, or back when my sister had braces on her teeth, she had to do that to eat corn on the cob too).
 

DocToxyn

Science Advisor
424
0
The trick to issues number 2 and 3 is a good sharp knife. Nothing is more handy in the kitchen, and (in my experience) harder to find in most people's kitchens. You'll have a lot more success with the mango, corn or whatever if you invest in some http://www.cutlery.com/t11t20.shtml [Broken] (even just one) and keep it sharp. Struggling along with stamped blades and buying new ones when the current ones are too dull just wastes time, food and money in the long run, plus a sharp knife is actually safer than a dull one. BTW, the best part about processing your own mangos is chewing the remainder of the fruit off of the stone, very messy, tasty and fun :biggrin: (except for the fibers - floss anyone!).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

fuzzyfelt

Gold Member
749
4
mmmmmmm....mangoes...
personally I think its best not to think too much when eating mangoes, especially about how to cut them, I just enjoy them and the mess they make
 

Monique

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,104
63
Yes, I usually just get a knife and cut off bite-size pieces until I can't get through the fibres anymore, then I just start chewing the rest off of the stone like DocToxyn :smile: I should try the cutting in three parts method..

Looking at the cherry and olive pitter that Townsend mentioned it all makes sense now :approve:
 

Monique

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,104
63
One more thing: where do fruitflies come from?
 

dduardo

Staff Emeritus
1,894
3
"Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. Upon emerging, the tiny larvae continue to feed near the surface of the fermenting mass. This surface-feeding characteristic of the larvae is significant in that damaged or over-ripened portions of fruits and vegetables can be cut away without having to discard the remainder for fear of retaining any developing larvae. The reproductive potential of fruit flies is enormous; given the opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs. The entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week."

Source: http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/struct/ef621.htm
 

Monique

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,104
63
This surface-feeding characteristic of the larvae is significant in that damaged or over-ripened portions of fruits and vegetables can be cut away without having to discard the remainder for fear of retaining any developing larvae
So you can just cut away the part rotting and eat the rest of the fruit? :rofl:

So are the eggs already there or do you need a fruitfly to lay the egg once it is rotting?
 

Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,349
51
Monique said:
So you can just cut away the part rotting and eat the rest of the fruit? :rofl:

So are the eggs already there or do you need a fruitfly to lay the egg once it is rotting?
I'm convinced that the eggs must get laid while the fruit is still fresh, because there never seems to be a fruit fly in sight until they suddenly start swarming as they hatch from some fruit you didn't get to in time. Though, fruit flies also thrive in biohazard waste bins. :yuck: They seem to like the same media that bacteria like. A couple years ago, we had this sudden fruit fly infestation in our lab, and were convinced it was someone studying genetics letting flies escape or something, until we discovered they were in the biohazard barrel (we didn't fill it very quickly and hadn't used it in a while, so didn't notice until someone went to dump something else in there). We had to explain to the disposal people why we had the lid wrapped in plastic and duct-taped shut and wouldn't let them open it in the lab to check that everything inside was in a bag. :rolleyes: We now empty it on a more regular schedule, whether we've filled it or not.
 

dduardo

Staff Emeritus
1,894
3
Leave the fruit flies long enough in a vat of biohazard waste and soon they'll mutate into super bugs capable of flying into your ear and taking over your brain.

Moonbear, has anyone been acting strangely in the lab lately? Perhaps someone has become obsessed with eating fruit?
 
508
1
Here is some nice information about fruit flies:
http://www.discovery.com/area/skinnyon/skinnyon970718/skinny1.html [Broken]

"They come when they smell your peaches rolling across the ripeness line."
 
Last edited by a moderator:

DaveC426913

Gold Member
18,252
1,857
If time flies like an arrow, why do fruit flies like a banana?
 

Monique

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,104
63
Moonbear said:
I'm convinced that the eggs must get laid while the fruit is still fresh, because there never seems to be a fruit fly in sight until they suddenly start swarming as they hatch from some fruit you didn't get to in time.
Yes, I was convinced of that too. Where is that fruitfly that is laying all the eggs? From gerben's link it says that "it's more likely that your Drosophila melanogaster came from the great outdoors than from the grocery store"..

Kind of disturbing also that the "white larvae will spend five or six days gobbling the yeast and alcohol-rich products of fermentation, then crawl out of the sludge, hatch into red-eyed monsters and start the cycle again" :eek: 5 or 6 days?
 

Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,349
51
Monique said:
Yes, I was convinced of that too. Where is that fruitfly that is laying all the eggs? From gerben's link it says that "it's more likely that your Drosophila melanogaster came from the great outdoors than from the grocery store"..

Kind of disturbing also that the "white larvae will spend five or six days gobbling the yeast and alcohol-rich products of fermentation, then crawl out of the sludge, hatch into red-eyed monsters and start the cycle again" :eek: 5 or 6 days?
The odd thing is that I've NEVER seen fruit fly larvae in rotten fruit, just the flies, so maybe they do find their way in from outside somehow. I've grown fruit flies on purpose (hasn't every biology major had to do that for a genetics lab at some time?), so I know the larvae are big enough to see, and their eggs are pretty big too, so I just don't know where the beasts come from!
 

DaveC426913

Gold Member
18,252
1,857
Some scientist once and for all proved that the adult fruit flies must show up and lay their eggs.

He put two hunks of bait in two bottles and put a fine screen over one of them. After a few days, he ensured he saw no flies, and then covered them both. Sure enough, within a few days, the one without the screen was rife with fruit flies.

It proved conclusively that the flies came from outside to lay their eggs. If they could not first find the bait, then no flies would be laid or be hatched.


Interestingly, the purpose of the experiment was to once and for all, disprove the hypothesis of spontaneous generation of fruit flies. Up to that point, it was generally beleived that (since no one ever seemed to see fruit flies laying the eggs) fruit flies arose from the bait itself, not from adults laying eggs.
 

Monique

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,104
63
The bait, was that meat or fruit? The experiment I remember was with house flies, not fruit flies.
 

Related Threads for: Things I can't get my head around

Replies
21
Views
4K
  • Posted
2 3
Replies
74
Views
5K
Replies
25
Views
3K
  • Posted
2
Replies
49
Views
11K
Replies
18
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
24
Views
8K
  • Posted
Replies
11
Views
2K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top