The Survey of Microbial Quality of the Dry Sample, Extract and Brewing of some Medicinal Plants
Medicinal plants may be exposed to a wide range of microbial contamination during pre- and post- harvest stages and they can present high microbial counts. In this study, the microbial quality of 44 samples of dry herbs namely: mint (Menthaspp.), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), summer savory (Satureja hortensis), zataria (Zataria multiflora), Indian valerian (Valeriana wallichii), their brewing and extracts were analyzed. Total count using plate count agar medium (PCA), coliform count by Violet Red Bile Agar (VRBL), Enterobacteriacea by Violet Red Bile Glucose (VRBG) were evaluated. Medium Baird-Parker agar (BP) medium and Tryptone Bile X-Gluc (TBX) medium were used for the isolation and enumeration of Staphylococcus aurous and E. coli spp. respectively. Furthermore, Xylose Lysine Deoxycholate agar medium (XLD) and Bismuth Sulfite Agar medium (BSA) were used for detection of Salmonella spp. Fungal and mold contamination was assessed using yeast extract glucose chloramphenicol agar. The results showed that the contamination of the samples with total count (100%) and Enterobacteriaceae (85%), total coliform (83%), mold and yeast (98%) and E. coli ssp. (2.27) were detected, including in the study samples the absence of pathogenic bacteria like Staphylococcus aurous, Salmonella spp. Moreover, the extract had a lower microbial load in comparison to dry herb samples. Also, the lowest and the highest of contamination rates were observed for Indian valerian and zataria, respectively. According to the results, there is a need to control the environmental conditions and improve hygiene in the production process; even more, it is recommended to choose a suitable decontamination method for disinfection during packing medicinal plants and during post-packing manipulation and transport.
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