Microbial assessment of medicinal herbs (Cnidii Rhizoma and Alismatis Rhizoma), effects of electron beam irradiation and detection characteristics

  • Mi-eun Baek
  • Kashif Ameer
  • Yunhee Jo
  • Namhyeok Chung
  • Minji Choi
  • Jung-ok Kim
  • Jaehee Won
  • Sang-Han Lee
  • Joong-Ho KwonEmail author


Medicinal herbs comprise of heavy microbial contaminations. This study aimed to assess microbial hazards including foodborne pathogens in 20 commercial medicinal herbs, Cnidii Rhizoma (C1–C10) and Alismatis Rhizoma (T1–T10) as well as to evaluate irradiation effects of E-beam on microbial load and detection chracteristics. Four samples (C5, C10, T1, T8) from both herbs with higher microbial load were selected for evaluating the irradiation effect of E-beam (up to 10 kGy) on microbial load and radiation-induced changes in detection markers by standard methods (Codex, Korean Food Code), such as direct epifluorescent filter technique/aerobic plate count (DEFT/APC), photostimulated luminescence (PSL), thermoluminescence (TL), and electron spin resonance (ESR). DEFT/APC revealed non-evidence of pre-sterilization of all samples. PSL differentiated irradiated samples (1, 5, and 10 kGy) of both herbs from non-irradiated (control: 0 kGy). Both TL and ESR methods validated PSL screening results by detecting radiation-induced markers from E-beam irradiated medicinal herbs.


Medicinal herb Microbial load DEFT/APC Luminescence ESR 



There is no funding received for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Food Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Food Science and Biotechnology and Food Bio-industry Research InstituteKyungpook National UniversityDaeguKorea
  2. 2.Quality Certification CenterNational Institute of Korean Medicine DevelopmentDaeguKorea
  3. 3.Institute of Food and Nutritional SciencesPMAS-Arid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan
  4. 4.Health Research DepartmentHealth and Environment Institute of DaeguDaeguKorea

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