Curry in a Hurry
Jonathan Chen, Ishmam Bhuiyan
Sir Winston Churchill
Floor Location : M 080 H

Today, antibiotics are one of the most common remedies for bacterial infections. However, the repeated use of antibiotics often results in a resistance developed by the bacteria, making the effective prevention and treatment of bacterial infections increasingly difficult. Through research, we found that turmeric’s primary curcumioid, called curcumin, contains potent antioxidant and antibacterial properties, leading us to wonder, how effective would turmeric be as an antimicrobial agent? This project looks at the capacity of different concentrations of turmeric solutions in killing E. coli bacteria. We hypothesized that if different concentrations of turmeric solutions were left in agar petri dishes streaked with E. coli bacteria in a garage at room temperature for 5 days, then the diameter of the bacterial colonies would be smaller when exposed to higher concentrations of turmeric solution.

To test our hypothesis, we carried out the following experiment. For our control group, 5 ml of disinfected water was poured into a petri dish streaked with E. coli. For our experimental group, four turmeric solutions with different concentrations were poured into agar petri dishes streaked with E. coli. All five of these petri dishes were left in a dark garage heated at room temperature for 5 days. The same was done to 15 other petri dishes for a total of 4 trials conducted to ensure accurate results.

Our results showed that on average, the higher the concentration of turmeric solution in the petri dishes, the smaller the diameter of the bacterial colonies. It is also worth noting that the petri dishes containing no turmeric or low concentrations of turmeric solution experienced exponentially increasing and steep growth rates in the size of the bacterial colonies, in contrast to the gentle and consistent, almost linear increase in the size of the bacterial colonies in the petri dishes containing high concentrations of turmeric solution. We noticed that the bacterial colonies in petri dishes exposed to no or low concentrations of turmeric was a white translucent colour and the bacterial colonies exposed to high concentrations of data was a translucent orange-yellow colour. We also found that all the bacterial colonies were the same irregular shape with wavy margins and had a convex elevation with bumpy edges.

In conclusion, we were able to successfully demonstrate a relationship between turmeric and the growth of E. Coli. In our hypothesis, we predicted that bacterial colonies exposed to higher concentrations of turmeric solution would be smaller in diameter than those exposed to lower or no concentration(s) of turmeric solution. Based on the data we collected, this hypothesis was accepted. We also found that bacterial colonies exposed to higher concentrations of turmeric solution tended to grow at a gentler and more consistent rate than those exposed to lower concentrations of turmeric solution. As an extension to this experiment, we can figure out what concentration of turmeric solution would be needed so that no bacterial colonies would remain at the end of the 5 days of our experiment.