At the start of the academic year, I decided that I wanted to work on my own science project. It took me probably six weeks to think of what I wanted to do, and as a result, I haven’t actually done a great deal of practical work. There is a huge range of projects that some of my friends are doing, including experimenting with bath bombs, hydrogen peroxide and even horse blood. My project is probably less appealing to many than those, but I decided to focus my project on probiotic drinks.
Many probiotic drink companies make big claims about their products that are sometimes questionable. I’ve always wondered whether that, the bacteria that are in the drinks, can actually survive after passing through the stomach acid, and then grow and multiply when they reach the intestines. I would carry out a number of experiments, to test these claims, as well as a few others.
The first practical element of my project was an experiment to find out whether there was as many bacteria in the bottle as the website claimed there were. I had to dilute the drink six times adding one part to nine of distilled water. This was so that I would be able to count the amount of bacterial colonies I had cultured on the agar plates. If I hadn’t diluted first, I would be faced with millions of colonies on one plate of agar.
Nothing is conclusive as of yet, but the results I have got already suggest that the actual number of bacteria in the bottle is significantly more than the number the website claim.
In the next few weeks, I hope to look at the effects of stomach acid on the bacteria and if they will still grow after coming into contact with strong acid. I will be posting more about this project when I produce some conclusive results in different sections of my experimental work.