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Effects of spices on rice spoilage

Govindaraj et al. | Aug 15, 2022

Effects of spices on rice spoilage

In this work, based on centuries of history where spices have been used and thought to have antimicrobial properties that prolong the shelf life of food, the authors investigated if several spices used in Indian cooking could delay the spoilage of cooked white rice. Based on changed in appearance and smell, as well as growth on agar plates, they found that cinnamon was the most effective in delaying spoilage, followed by cumin, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Their findings suggest the ability to use spices rather than chemical food preservatives to prolong the shelf life of foods.

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Characterization of antibacterial properties of common spices

Gehad et al. | Oct 03, 2020

Characterization of antibacterial properties of common spices

Bacterial infection is resurging as one of the most dangerous challenges facing the medical establishment. Americans spend about 55 to 70 billion dollars per year on antibiotics, yet these antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective as illness-causing bacteria gain resistance to the prescribed drugs. We tested if 11 commonly-used spices could inhibit growth of the gram-negative bacteria, E. coli, the main takeaway from these experiments is that certain spices and herbs have antibacterial effects that inhibit growth of E.coli , and these spices could show similarly promising activity towards other bacteria.

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Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

Jani et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

The authors experimented with several commonly available alkaline spices (turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon) to study their antimicrobial properties, hypothesizing that alkaline spices would have antimicrobial activity. Results showed a zone of inhibition of bacterial growth, with the largest zone of inhibition being around turmeric, followed by cayenne pepper, and the smallest around cinnamon. These results are impactful, as common alkaline spices generally do show antibacterial properties and both bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects correlated with degree of alkalinity.

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Antimicrobial properties of common household spices on microbes cultured from two kitchen locations

Carroll et al. | May 12, 2022

Antimicrobial properties of common household spices on microbes cultured from two kitchen locations

The number of bacterial infections in humans is rising, and a major contributor is foodborne illnesses, which affect a large portion of the population and result in many hospitalizations and deaths. Common household cleaners are an effective strategy to combat foodborne illness, but they are often costly and contain harmful chemicals. Thus, the authors sought to test the antimicrobial effectiveness of spices (clove, nutmeg, astragalus, cinnamon, turmeric, and garlic) on microbes cultured from refrigerator handles and cutting boards. Results from this study demonstrate long-lasting, antimicrobial effects of multiple spices that support their use as alternatives to common household cleaners.

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The Effectiveness of Different Palate Relievers Against a Hot Chili Pepper Sauce

Avendaño-Rodríguez et al. | Jun 11, 2016

The Effectiveness of Different Palate Relievers Against a Hot Chili Pepper Sauce

Cuisine with hot chili peppers can be tasty, but sometimes painful to consume because of the burning sensations caused by the capsaicin molecule. The authors wanted to find the palate reliever that decreases the burning sensation of capsaicin the most by testing water, soft drink, olive oil, milk, and ice-cream as possible candidates. The authors hypothesized that olive oil would be the best palate reliever as it is non-polar like the capsaicin molecule. The authors surveyed 12 panelists with low, medium, and high spice tolerances and found that across all levels of spice tolerance, milk and ice-cream were the best palate relievers and soft drink the worst.

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Antibacterial effectiveness of turmeric against gram-positive Staphylococcus epidermidis

Cox et al. | Jan 10, 2022

Antibacterial effectiveness of turmeric against gram-positive <i>Staphylococcus epidermidis</i>

Infections caused by antibiotic resistance are a leading issue faced by the medical field. The authors studied the antibacterial effectiveness of turmeric against gram-positive Staphylococcus epidermidis using antibiotic sensitivity disks. They infused blank antibiotic sensitivity disks with a 5% concentrated solution of turmeric and placed them on agar plates inoculated with bacteria. Overall, there was no measurable ZOI surrounding the turmeric disk so the measurements for all trials were 0 cm, suggesting that turmeric at a 5% concentration is not an effective antibacterial against S. epidermidis.

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Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Zaroff et al. | Jul 15, 2021

Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Access to green space—an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an urban environment—and clean drinking water can be unequally distributed in urban spaces, which are often associated with income inequality. Little is known about public drinking water and green space inequities in the Bay Area. For our study, we sought to understand how public park access, drinking fountain access, and the quality of public drinking water differ across income brackets in the Bay Area. Though we observed smaller-scale instances of inequalities, in the park distribution in the Bay Area as a whole, and in the Southern Bay’s water quality and park distribution, our results indicate that other factors could be influencing water quality, and park and fountain access in the Bay Area.

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Ground-based Follow-up Observations of TESS Exoplanet Candidates

Tang et al. | May 29, 2020

Ground-based Follow-up Observations of  TESS Exoplanet Candidates

The goal of this study was to further confirm, characterize, and classify LHS 3844 b, an exoplanet detected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Additionally, we strove to determine the likeliness of LHS 3844 b and similar planets as qualified candidates for observation with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

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Optimizing Interplanetary Travel Using a Genetic Algorithm

Murali et al. | Oct 28, 2018

Optimizing Interplanetary Travel Using a Genetic Algorithm

In this work, the authors develop an algorithm that solves the problem of efficient space travel between planets. This is a problem that could soon be of relevance as mankind continues to expand its exploration of outer space, and potentially attempt to inhabit it.

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