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    Spicy Inhibitors Anti-Microbial Properties

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    1) If you lived in a tropical region of India without refrigeration, which spice would you use most often in your cooking and WHY?

    2) Which spice (Black Pepper Agar, Chili Powder Agar, Cloves Agar) would be least effective in controlling microbial growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae? WHY?

    3) Why would spices have anti-microbial properties?

    4) Would the spices in #2 have different effects on bacterial vs. fungi or would both groups of organisms react to the spices in the same way? (Bacteria are Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, & Pseudomonas flrorescens & Fungi are Penicillium notatum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

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    Solution Preview

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    Hi

    "Human use of antimicrobial spices developed in parallel with food-spoilage microorganisms in hot climates" (from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980305053307.htm). It is not surprising that in India (and other areas with hot tropical climates) there is a lot of spicy food.

    Here is a list of commonly used spices and the organisms they have been found to inhibit. I will use primarily these data in answering your questions http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Spices.html.

    1. It seems that cloves have the greatest amount of essential oil and that this oil has a high concentration of Eugenol, a compound that is inhibitory, so I would probably use cloves. They are generally effective against fungi whereas garlic inhibits a wide range of bacteria, both gram positive and gram negative, so you might also choose garlic.

    2. I am not sure but these questions look like they are from a lab exercise where you tested some spice extracts for inhibition of various bacteria and fungi. If you looked at inhibition of growth on ...

    Solution Summary

    The expert examines spicy inhibitors for anti-microbial properties. Why spices have anti-microbial properties are determined.

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