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Dunkirk Primary School

Dunkirk Primary School

Mummification of A Tomato! Eeek!

Our topic this term is the amazing Ancient Egyptians! We started the term by getting messy and gooey mummifying tomatoes. We are looking at how it changes, weekly and recording the results.  The 'control' tomato has not been preserved, so we can use this to compare the differences.

Did you know?

By removing the inside 'organs' of the tomato, you are taking away a lot of the moisture that would otherwise allow bacteria to break down the tomato. Natron also helps by quickly drawing away all the water from the tomato and making it harder for bacteria to live. This type of preservation is called mummification!

What is Natron?

Historical natron was harvested as a salt mixture from dry lake beds in Ancient Egypt and has been used for thousands of years as cleaning. We made ours by mixing salt and bicarbonate of soda.

What is preservation?

Preservation is to look after something to stop it becoming ruined.

Come look at the steps of our tomato mummification.

Step 1: Remove the fleshy interior. We had lots of fun doing this!




  Step 2: Pack the natron into the tomato and cover completely.




Mummified Tomatoes

The tomatoes that we mummified have started to lose liquid, but the Natron is soaking up the liquid. The flesh of the tomatoes is starting to look shrivelled. There are no flies.

 Controlled Tomato

After one week the control tomato is starting to decay and liquid is starting to drain from the flesh. If you look closely, you can see the fruit flies have laid their eggs directly onto the rotting fruit. The pests may produce up to 500 offspring. It only takes about a week for the entire life cycle to conclude.