Determining the effect of microwave radiation on Saccharomyces cerevisiae


  • Joelle Fernandes


Microwaves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum and have frequencies ranging from 300MHz to 300GHz (Zhi et al. 1). They are widely used in households, industrial fields, and for broadcasting. However, with its popularization, attention has shifted to the negative effects it may have on living organisms, as microwave radiation can heat bodily tissue the same way it heats food according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (16). In order to determine whether microwave radiation has a harmful effect on living organisms or not, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly known as baker’s yeast, was microwaved for varying amounts of time and was proofed using warm water and sugar. The volume was recorded after allowing the yeast to proof for 10 minutes. It was found that microwave radiation had a significantly negative effect on the growth of S. cerevisiae (P < 0.001, R2 = 0.867). A one-way ANOVA test was performed to analyze variation and the difference was found to be statistically significant (F(6, 14) = 317.5, P < 0.0001) and thus microwave radiation did have an effect on mean proofed volume. Post-hoc comparisons using Tukey’s multiple comparisons test indicated that the mean volume for the control group (M = 25.47, SD = 2.21) significantly differed from all other microwave treatments.