Nov. 5, 2003
Antimicrobial Capability of Raw Honey
A Comparison of the Antimicrobial Capabilities of Raw Honey with Raw Honey Treated with Heat, Ethanol, or Ultraviolet Radiation
Elizabeth Monier, 15, Boerne, Texas
Second Place, Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge, 2003
Project background: News articles about using raw honey as an antibiotic intrigued Elizabeth. She was also aware of the recent increase in the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and wanted to explore whether raw honey could be an alternative antibiotic source to combat them.
Tactics and results: Elizabeth began by diluting raw honey with distilled water. Making four solutions, she left one untreated and treated the other three with ultraviolet radiation, ethanol, or heat, which would eliminate to different degrees any bacteria or organisms present in the honey. Each solution was combined with a sample of either beef or chicken and cultured for 2 days in nutrient agar. The second phase of the project used undiluted raw honey under the same conditions.
Elizabeth concluded that raw, untreated honey is an effective antibiotic. However, heating raw honey causes it to lose its antimicrobial properties.
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