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Bacteriology Science Fair Project

Spicy Science: The Health Benefits of Cooking

Spicy Science: The Health Benefits of Cooking | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Spices have been used in cooking for thousands of years, but do they have the power to keep food clean and healthy? This experiment will test the antibacterial properties of seven different spices to see if they can kill food-spoilage microorganisms.


The hypothesis is that spices have the ability to kill food-spoilage microorganisms.

Method & Materials

You will set up an experiment to test the volatile emission from the spices. You will streak E. coli on agar dishes, turn them upside down, and apply 1/4 tsp. of spice on the lid. You will leave the dish at 27 degrees Celsius for 4 days.
You will need agar dishes, E. coli, sterile swabs, and the following spices: cinnamon, garlic, mustard, black pepper, coriander, lemon juice, and chilli powder.


The results of the experiment show that not all of the spices used were effective. Coriander had complete inhibition, while mustard, cinnamon, and lemon juice had partial inhibition. Black pepper and garlic had 17% inhibition, and chilli powder had no inhibition.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting because it tests the health benefits of spices that have been used in cooking for thousands of years.

Also Consider

Experiment variations to consider include testing different temperatures and different amounts of spices.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!
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