A Comparative Study of Bioburden Reduction on Ayurvedic Powders Using Physical Techniques Individually and in Combination
People consume Ayurvedic Powders in different ways (topically, oral etc.). These powders are obtained from natural products and hence contain large amount of micro-organisms. To make such products suitable for consumption, there is a need to reduce the bacterial number to an approbatory limit. The objective of this research was to compare the efficiency of different bioburden reduction techniques. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia) powders were used throughout the process. Microbial limit test was carried out and both the powders were found to be contaminated with Escherichia coli (E.coli), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P.aeuroginosa) and Salmonella Typhi (S. typhi). By the spread plate method, the average microbial count of the untreated powders was found out to be very high. The count was 5.86 × 1012 CFU/mL for Ashwagandha and 40 × 106 CFU/mL for Manjishtha. These powders were subjected to 3 physical methods and 2 combinations of the physical methods viz. Dry heat, Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI), Ultrasonication, Dry heat & Ultrasonication and Ultrasonication & UVGI. After treatments, the count was found out to be within the permissible limits stated by WHO guidelines. The count being reduced to 233 CFU/mL for Ashwagandha and 7 CFU/mL for Manjishtha with the combination UVGI and Ultrasonication. Thus, the combination of techniques was proved to be much more effective in reducing the microbial count than the technique individually.