Testing antimicrobial effects of tea-tree oil using S. cerevisiae and bread mold
Tea tree oil (TTO) is a naturally occurring chemical found extracted from the leaves of a tree called narrow-leaved paperbark. It is well known as an antiseptic, however, its potential as a natural household cleaning agent has not been thoroughly examined yet. We were interested in examining the anti-fungal properties of TTO, especially on common bread mould, spores of which are common to households. This study used fresh-baked white bread as media to observe the effects of TTO at 0.06% and 0.24% concentrations on mold spore formation and 0.25% TTO on yeast fermentation. It was concluded that TTO can inhibit mold growth at the lowest of 0.06% but did not reduce (p=0.07) yeast CO2 production at 0.25% concentration. The data highlights the efficacy of TTO against household mould and based on our yeast results is potentially not toxic at low concentrations, but more studies are required with a variety of mould species and concentrations to better understand the use of TTO as a cleaning agent.
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