The goal of this hands-on project was to make and validate microbial growth plates with ingredients and tools commonly found in a kitchen.
I performed this with my first year bachelor students in dietetics and nutrition.
By making these plates the students get a better understanding of what microbial organisms need as an energy and nutrient source.
Also will they have to perform standard methodes and practices (working sterile, waste managment,...) applied to microbiology labs in order to achieve the goal.
By interpreting the results students will learn to analyze and be critical. They will also learn a bit more about differential (growth) behaviour of microbes.
By using common kitchen ingredients and tools, microbiology is taken out of the lab and placed into the dietician's world. I hoped by doing this microbiology would become less abstract and more fun to them.
I tried this project with bachelor students in dietetics and nutrition, but I guess it is suited for other students as well.
This is a low-cost project that can be performed in any basic kitchen.
My students were enthousiastic, it was fun to do!
Step 1: Ingredients
We decided to make a microbial growth plate based on the growth plate YPD routinely used to grow yeast in research labs.
YPD consists of 1% yeast extract, 2% peptone and 2% glucose.
Therefore we used 1% dry yeast, 3% milk and 2% sugar in our growth medium.
As solidifying agent we used gelatin (10%) instead of agar.
We also added salt (0,9%) since we want to grow bacteria on our growth medium as well.