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J Med Food. 2011 Sep;14(9):950-6. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.0200. Epub 2011 May 6.

Determination of antimicrobial activity of sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolated from food, veterinary, and clinical samples.

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  • 1Department of Food and Animal Sciences, Alabama A & M University, Normal, Alabama, USA.


The use of medicinal plants as natural antimicrobial agents is gaining popularity. Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is widely used for the treatment of diseases. The objective of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial activity of sorrel on Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolates from food, veterinary, and clinical samples. Phenolics of the calyces were extracted from 10 g of ground, freeze-dried samples using 100 mL of 80% aqueous methanol. Concentrations of 10%, 5%, and 2.5% methanol extract of sorrel were investigated for its antimicrobial activity. Inhibition zones were indicated by a lack of microbial growth due to inhibitory concentrations of sorrel diffused into semisolid culture medium beneath the sorrel-impregnated disk. The results of this experiment showed that the most potent sorrel concentration was 10%, then 5%, and finally 2.5%. The overall mean zone of inhibition for the sorrel extract was 12.66 mm for 10%, 10.75 mm for 5%, and 8.9 mm for 2.5%. The highest inhibition zones (11.16 mm) were observed in veterinary samples, and the lowest (10.57 mm) in the food samples. There were significant (P<.05) differences among mean zones of inhibition found in the food, veterinary, and clinical sources. Based on the source of samples and concentration of sorrel extract, the lowest mean inhibition was 7.00±0.04 mm from clinical samples, and the highest was 15.37±0.61 mm from a food source. These findings indicated that sorrel was effective at all levels in inhibiting E. coli O157:H7; thus it possesses antimicrobial activity and hold great promise as an antimicrobial agent.

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