Exploring the Preservative Qualities of Various Spices

Posted on October 31, 2013 | By kayla

Microbiology Science Fair Project

For middle school students interested in microbiology, this is sure to be a great science fair project to check out! It addresses the issue of food spoilage; specifically how different spices, naturally found in the environment, can be used as to preserve foods due to the antimicrobial and anti-fungal compounds they contain.

Spices you might explore...

  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Cloves
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Coriander
  • Vanilla beans

[NOTE: Use the actual spices or explore the effects of the active "preservative" ingredient found in the spice - i.e. carvacrol, which is present in oregano, thyme and pepper; eugenol, which is found in cinnamon, cloves and allspice; vanillic acid, the active ingredient in vanilla beans and coriander, etc.]

If you're looking for an example procedure to help set up your experiment, check out this project from Science Buddies for some inspiration!

About kayla

Happily authoring posts about lesson plans, crafts, unique bulletin board ideas, and other helpful resources for SupplyMe since 2008.