WEB REPORT
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Group 1-03
Project Title Investigating the potential use of essential oils and fruit peel oils as natural preservatives
Synopsis

Currently, preservatives that are used to preserve food consist of sodium nitrite, sodium benzoate, tartaric
acid, ascorbic acid and many more substances. We wanted to test for other healthier and safer alternatives
to replace sodium nitrite and sodium benzoate, and other unhealthy preservatives.

Here are examples of why current-day chemical preservatives are unhealthy:

Sodium nitrite, when ingested, reacts with the hydrochloric acid in our stomach to form nitrosamines,
which are carcinogenic, meaning that they cause cancer. Sodium benzoate, when ingested, may deprive the
mitochondria of oxygen and may even completely shut them down. When mitochondria are deprived of
oxygen, this causes the mitochondria to change their main source of energy to glucose, and the cells start
to ferment, causing cancer. Also, sodium benzoate, if it reacts with ascorbic acid, may cause formation of
benzene, another carcinogenic compound.

Thus, there is a need to find healthier and safer alternatives to these preservatives like sodium nitrite and
sodium benzoate. We investigated on the antibacterial and antifungal properties of the essential oils of
rosemary, tea tree and thyme, and the fruit peel oils of banana and pomegranate. We found that thyme oil
was the best antibacterial and antifungal agent, with the largest zone of inhibition for well diffusion test,
and complete inhibition of growth of fungus in antifungal test.

Through this project, we found safer and healthier alternatives to replace the chemical preservatives like
sodium nitrite and sodium benzoate. Also, through usage of fruit peels to make fruit peel oils to preserve
food, we actually can reduce wastage. However, these oils actually need to be diluted so that they are
completely safe, as they are very concentrated. This also saves resources, as less oil is needed.
(283 words)

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Team Members
(Names & Classes)
Group Leader:
TAN YUAN BIN TYLER 2A2
 
Group Members:
ANDRE MICHAEL KUAH KHIANG JIN 2A2
CHUA KAI JIE, EMERSON 2A2
TAN YAN HAO MALCOLM 2A2