The Domino Effect: How One Rotten Apple Can Spoil the Barrel

Does the saying “one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel” hold any truth? Absolutely. When an apple becomes damaged or begins to decay, it generates a gas called ethylene. This gas elevates the apple’s internal temperature slightly, initiating the breakdown of chlorophyll and the creation of other pigments. Concurrently, the fruit’s starch is transformed into simple sugars, and pectin—a fiber component acting as a binder for cell walls—starts to break down, thus softening the apple’s texture. This cascade of changes not only affects the single apple, but it also instigates a domino effect, triggering similar processes in the surrounding apples.