Poster Topical Area: Aging and Chronic Disease

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 50

P01-030 - Discovering the Effects of Common Food Additives on the Growth of Probiotics

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives: Recent data suggests that common foods we eat everyday contain many additives and chemicals that could deteriorate the mucus lining in our digestive system, causing us to be more prone to illnesses. What we don't know is whether these food additives also inhibit the growth of orally consumed probiotics in the gut, resulting in the hindrance of the replenishment of gut bacteria. My hypothesis is that food additives decrease the growth of probiotics in vitro.

Methods: I
tested 6 different additives, MSG, BHT, Red Lake #40, Carrageenan, CMC, and Polysorbate 80, on 2 probiotic strains (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium). I diluted each probiotic strain from 10 billion CFUs to 1000 -1250 CFUs per mL in nutrient broth and incubated it with each additive separately for 24 hours. Then I plated 0.2 mL of the nutrient broth solution on MSG agar plates, and I counted and analyzed the colonies after two days. A standard T-test was used to test my data for significance.

While the control agar plates for Bifidobacterium grew 2150 colonies, all the plates with additives had a significant > 70% decrease in the number of colonies (P<0.05 for all additives. With Lactobacillus, my control agar plates grew 2940 colonies,and I noted a >90% reduction of colonies on the agar plates with Red Lake #40, MSG, and Carrageenan (P<0.05 for all additives).

In conclusion, this data suggests that food additives significantly suppress the growth of probiotics on agar plates, which could have major implications on gut health as well as overall health.

Funding Source: none
Lactobacillus Data Table

Lactobacillus Bar Graph

Bifidobacterium Data Table

Bifidobacterium Bar Graph

Nithya Guthikonda

The Westminster Schools
Peachtree City, Georgia