Original Articles: 2011 Vol: 3 Issue: 6
An efficient edible anti-bacterial aqueous solution to purify food juices
This study was conducted to formulate an economically viable aqueous antibacterial formulation using edible essential oils to purify bacterially contaminated fresh juices sold at roadside outlets in tropical countries, which maintain very low/nil hygiene conditions. Such a formulation was felt necessary to prevent epidemic outbreaks of infective diseases which occur due to consumption of fresh juices (like sugarcane juice) sold at such outlets. As part of the study, the level of bacterial contamination in sugarcane juice sample collected from a roadside outlet in Belgaum, Karnataka was accessed and predicted to have 4000micro-organisms/100ml of juice. Gram positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis & Staphylococcus aureus and Gram negative bacteria E. Coli & Klebsiella contaminants were present in the samples. To reduce this high degree of contamination, four essential oils i.e. Clove, Cinnamon, Thyme and Lemon grass were tested individually and in combination for their antibacterial activity against the isolated contaminants. The best effective formulation was then retested and found to effectively purify the juice sample (1ml/1000ml) within fifteen minutes of its addition.This formulation of essential oils can be added to fresh juices sold at roadside outlets to reduce their degree of bacterial contamination and hence help in preventing outbreaks of infective diseases as well as improve the general health conditions of people.