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The Antiseptic Effect of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Extraction on the
Bacterial Growth of Escherichia Coli (K-12) and Salmonella Typhi which
Cause Food Poisoning
Zeayd Fadhil Saeed
Foundation of Technical Education, Technical Institute of Samawa, Nursing department
key word: freshly turmeric powder; Escherichia coli strain K-12; Salmonella typhi ;
deoxycholate citrate agar; macconky agar.
Previous research has confirmed that turmeric compounds have antiseptic properties. In this study, the effect of freshly
turmeric powder on Escherichia coli strain K-12 and Salmonella typhi was examined. Fresh turmeric powder were mixed
with ethanol and centrifuged to produce a supersaturated turmeric solution. The supersaturated turmeric solution with
several concentrations was added to macconky agar, which was used to culture Escherichia coli strain K-12, and
deoxycholate citrate agar (DC agar)which was used to culture Salmonella typhi. The growth of the bacteria was studied by
microscopic inspection of bacterial colonies. It was found that turmeric powder is an effective antiseptic agent against
Escherichia coli K-12 and Salmonella typhi. It was determined that even at low concentrations of 50 micro liters of turmeric
solution there is a noticeable antiseptic effect. It was also determined that higher concentrations of turmeric had a greater
antiseptic property. There were no Escherichia coli K-12 and Salmonella typhi growth beyond a turmeric concentration of
800 micro liters 400 micro liters respectively.
Council for Innovative Research
Peer Review Research Publishing System
Journal: JOURNAL OF ADVANCES IN BIOLOGY
Vol 4, No.3
www.cirjab.com , email@example.com
547 | Page June 24, 2 0 1 4
Turmeric Curcuma longa, a perennial herb and member of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family, grows to a height of three to
five feet and is cultivated extensively in Asia, India, China, and other countries with a tropical climate. It has oblong,
pointed leaves and funnel-shaped yellow flowers. The rhizome, the portion of the plant used medicinally, is usually
boiled, cleaned, and dried, yielding a yellow powder. Dried Curcuma longa is the source of the spice turmeric, the
ingredient that gives curry powder its characteristic yellow color. Turmericis used extensively in foods for its flavor and
color, as well as having a long tradition of use in the Chinese and Ayurveda systems of medicine, particularly as an anti-
inflammatory and for the treatment of flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, hematuria, hemorrhage, and colic.
Turmeric can also be applied topically in poultices to relieve pain and inflammation. Current research has focused on
turmeric’s antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antimicrobial properties, in addition to its
use in cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disorders.
The active constituents of turmeric are the flavonoid curcumin (diferuloylmethane) and various volatile oils, including
tumerone, atlantone, and zingiberone. Other constituents include sugars, proteins, and resins. The best researched active
constituent is curcumin, which comprises 0.3-5.4 percent of raw turmeric .
Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory with specific lipoxygenase- and COX-2- inhibiting properties. Animal, in vitro, and
in vivo studies demonstrate turmeric’s effectiveness at decreasing both acute and chronic inflammation[3-6].Turmeric
extract and the essential oil of Curcuma longa inhibit the growth of a variety of bacteria, parasites, and pathogenic fungi. A
study of chicks infected with the caecal parasite Eimera maxima demonstrated that diets supplemented with 1% turmeric
resulted in a reduction in small intestinal lesion scores and improved weight gain . Turmeric’s protective effects on the
cardiovascular system include lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreasing susceptibility of low density
lipoprotein (LDL) to lipid peroxidation  and inhibiting platelet aggregation. These effects have been noted even with low
doses of turmeric.
The goal of this project is to study the antiseptic effect of different concentrations of turmeric on a particular strain of
Escherichia coli (K-12) and Salmonella typhi. Alcohols, like ethanol was found to be suitable solvent for turmeric as
turmeric solution in alcohol is soluble in water. For this project, 200 proof ethanol was used as a solvent for turmeric.
MATERIAL AND METHOD:
The materials that were used to conduct this experiment are:
1- Centrifuge (Beckman Brand, CPKR type).
2- Ethanol (Decond Labs Brand, standard 200 proof DSP-MD.43).
3- Laboratory test tubes (standard).
4- Autoclave (Fisher Scientific Brand).
5- Laboratory fume hood (Fisher Scientific Brand, EF-5-8).
6- Beaker (500mL capacity, standard).
7- Macconky agar, which was used to culture Escherichia coli strain K-12, and deoxycholate citrate agar (DC agar)which
was used to culture Salmonella typhi.
8- Nutrient broth tubes.
9- Sterile loops (Fisher Scientific Brand).
10- Incubator (standard).
A- Curcuma extraction preparation:-
Different amounts of the supersaturated turmeric solution, prepared by centrifuging a mixture of 200 proof ethanol and 100
grams of finely turmeric powder (which collected from local markets) was added to an agar solution to study the effect of
turmeric on Escherichia coli strain K-12 and Salmonella typhi.
200 proof ethanol was added to the beaker containing the turmeric powder (100 grams) for a total volume of 180 milliliters,
and mixed the mixture to create a supersaturated solution the beaker was placed on a lab bench. Then the ethanol and
turmeric solution in the beaker was then distributed evenly and poured into four laboratory test tubes. Each test tube had
about 45 milliliter of the supersaturated solution and whirled counterclockwise by hand a few times.
The test tubes were then placed into the centrifuge so that both sides of the centrifuge were balanced. The centrifuge was
set to the specifications: temperature of twenty-two degrees centigrade, speed of 3870 rotations per minute, timed for
After seven minutes in the centrifuge, the clear turmeric solution was visible at the top and debris settled at the bottom in
each of the four test tubes, and the clear solution at the top was carefully poured in a set of new test tubes so that all
debris remained in the original test tubes. The clear solution of turmeric in ethanol served as a stock of turmeric for
experimentation. This solution was put in a cold room at four degrees centigrade to avoid evaporation of the ethanol.
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B- Culture media preparation and bacterial incubation:-
Prepare 800 ml of the macconky agar according to the industrial company in beaker to use it to culture the Escherichia
coli strain K-12 after sterile it by autoclave, the agar solution was cooled until the temperature of the agar solution was
measured to be 40 degrees. And then 100 ml of macconky agar solution was poured into another beaker and then poured
into four Petri dishes, these four Petri dishes were marked as control. The process of pouring 100 ml of macconky agar
into a second beaker was repeated; each time a different amount of turmeric stock solution was added to the macconky
agar and poured into four already marked Petri dishes. The amount of turmeric solution added were 50 micro liters, 100
micro liters, 200 micro liters, 400 micro liters, 800 micro liters, 1000 micro liters, and 2000 micro liters respectively, yielding
32 dishes including the control, each with a different concentration amount of turmeric extraction.
So prepare 800 ml of the deoxycholate citrate agar (DC agar) according to the industrial company in beaker to use it to
culture the Salmonella typhi after sterile it by autoclave and use the same method to prepare 32 Petri dishes of
deoxycholate citrate agar (DC agar) with a different concentration amount of turmeric extraction.
The stock for the Escherichia coli K-12 bacteria was prepared by sterilized swab was used to scrape the bacteria from
the agar plate from the bacterial bank of sciences collage / Biology department of Al-Qadisiya University and The bacteria
was Injection in nutrient broth tubes with nutrients and incubated for forty hours at 37 degrees Celsius, and then make
decimal dilution by taking 1 ml of bacterial broth and add to tub which contain 9 ml of distal water and then use 1 ml of
second bacterial diluted tub (10-2) by Pipette to culture it by spread on each Petri dishes of macconky agar which
prepared (the control Petri dish and the dishes with different concentrations of turmeric extraction) and incubate it in
incubator at 37degrees Celsius for 24 hour and then notice the bacterial growth on macconky agar with different
concentrations of turmeric extraction.
So The stock for the Salmonella typhi bacteria was prepared by sterilized swab was used to scrape the bacteria from the
agar plate from the bacterial bank of sciences collage / Biology department of Al-Qadisiya University and The bacteria was
Injection in nutrient broth tubes with nutrients and incubated for forty hours at 37 degrees Celsius, and then make decimal
dilution by taking 1 ml of bacterial broth and add to tub which contain 9 ml of distal water and then use 1 ml of second
bacterial diluted tub (10-2) by Pipette to culture it by spread on each Petri dishes of Deoxycholate Citrate Agar (DC agar)
which prepared (the control Petri dish and the dishes with different concentrations of turmeric extraction) and incubate it in
incubator at 37 degrees Celsius for 24 hour and then notice the bacterial growth on Deoxycholate Citrate Agar with
different concentrations of turmeric extraction.
RESULT AND DISCUSSION:
After incubation the Petri dishes in incubator at 37 degrees Celsius for 24 hour and then notice the bacterial growth of
Salmonella typhi on Deoxycholate Citrate Agar and the growth of Escherichia coli strain K-12and enumerate the total
bacterial account on each Petri dish which contain different concentrations of turmeric extraction.
The salmonella appear like yellow or colorless colonies on Deoxycholate Citrate Agar, and the Escherichia coli strain K-12
appear like deep red colonies on macconky agar.
Table (1): Explain the total bacterial account of Escherichia coli strain K-12 and Salmonella typhi and its
relationship with the concentrations of turmeric extraction.
The average of Escherichia coli strain
K-12 growth on macconky agar
The average of Salmonella typhi
growth on DC agar
12 x 10-2
20 x 10-2
50 micro liters
10 x 10-2
16 x 10-2
100 micro liters
9 x 10-2
5 x 10-2
200 micro liters
7 x 10-2
1 x 10-2
400 micro liters
800 micro liters
1000 micro liters
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2000 micro liters
The results of this study reveal that the antiseptic property and inhibition effect of turmeric is fairly consistent on different
batches of the turmeric laced agar plates. So we notice from the table above that the both species of bacteria grow
normally on the control dishes, but we see the Escherichia coli strain K-12 can't grow with Turmeric 6 (800 micro liters),
and Salmonella typhi can't grow with Turmeric 5 (400 micro liters) which is determine it as the maximum concentration of
turmeric extraction which inhibit the Escherichia coli strain K-12 growth and Salmonella typhi respectively.
Based on the data presented in table, it can be concluded that turmeric has antiseptic property even at low concentrations
of50 micro liters.
1- In future extension of the experiment, the four major molecules of turmeric (curcumin, demethooxycurcumin,
bisdemethoxoycurcumin, and 2, 5-xylenol) will be isolated and the same experiment as described above will be repeated
for each of the molecules to establish the most effective molecule and its concentration against Escherichia coli and
2- The turmeric can be used as a food and meat preservative because it has the antiseptic effect, anti-inflammation effect,
antibacterial effect, antiviral effect and antifungal effect.
3- The turmeric based pharmaceutical drugs can be prescribed to patients where all other antibiotics have failed.
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3- Chandra D, Gupta S. 1972. Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity of volatile oil of Curcuma longa (Haldi) Indian J Med
4- Arora R, Basu N, Kapoor V, et al. 1971. Anti-inflammatory studies on Curcuma longa(turmeric). Indian J Med
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8- Ramirez-Tortosa MC, Mesa MD, Aguilera MC, et al. 1999. Oral administration of a turmeric extract inhibits LDL oxidation
and has hypocholesterolemic effects in rabbits with experimental atherosclerosis. Athero-sclerosis 1999;147:371-378.
9- Srivastava R, Puri V, Srimal RC, Dhawan BN. 1986. Effect of curcumin on platelet aggregation and vascular prostacyclin