• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 11, No 4 (2020)

Acceptable Shelf Life of Indonesian Anti-Atherosclerosis Mixed Herbs Based on Bacterial Count and pH Stability

Dewi Tristantini, Berna Elya, Sabila Robbani, Leon Lukhas Santoso

Corresponding email: detris@che.ui.ac.id

Cite this article as:
Tristantini, D., Elya, B., Robbani, S., Santoso, L.L., 2020. Acceptable Shelf Life of Indonesian Anti-Atherosclerosis Mixed Herbs Based on Bacterial Count and pH Stability. International Journal of Technology. Volume 11(4), pp. 784-793

Dewi Tristantini Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Berna Elya Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Sabila Robbani Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Leon Lukhas Santoso Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author


Anti-atherosclerosis herbs are extracted from a simplicia mixture of tanjung leaf (Mimusops elengi L.), starfruit leaf (Averrhoa carambola), and curcuma (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) by using water as a solvent. The contamination of microorganisms during the storage of these herbs should be considered as it can decrease the quality of the herbs and become poisoning food. The aim of this study was to examine the shelf life of anti-atherosclerosis herbs. The study tested the herbs for pH stability and bacterial count using the total plate count (pour plate) method by varying the temperature and duration storage for 48 hours. The results showed that the pH value of the anti-atherosclerosis herbs was constant (pH 5.7–5.6) for 48 hours in the refrigerator and 6 hours at room temperature. The bacterial count was 1.24×108 CFU/ml and 2.36×103 CFU/ml for 48 hours at room and refrigerator temperatures, respectively. Therefore, 48-hour refrigerator storage was an acceptable shelf life according to National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) Regulation Number 12 (2014) concerning the quality requirements of traditional medicine, which dictate that microorganisms in liquid herbs may not exceed 104 CFU/ml.

Anti-atherosclerosis herb; pH testing; Shelf time; Total plate count


Traditional medicine is consumed by many people because it is affordable, has few side effects, provides many benefits, and can even be made at home. According to Ekor (2014), the use of herbal products and supplements has increased tremendously over the past three decades, and no fewer than 80% of people worldwide rely on them for some part of their primary health care. Nevertheless, cases of poisoning caused by traditional medicine still exist. Based on data from the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (2016), as many as 65 cases of national poisoning were caused by traditional medicine in 2016. Such poisoning indicates that the product should not be consumed any longer due to a change in quality, such as a chemical or physical change. One example of a physical change is discoloration (Rahayu and Hastuti, 2008), which occurs because of environmental conditions, such as temperature and microbial activity. Additionally, most herbal products are further compromised by a lack of suitable quality controls, inadequate labeling, and the absence of appropriate patient information (Ekor, 2014)

One of the factors affecting the quality of traditional medicine products is how the consumers store, distribute, and use the product; this affects food safety and shelf life. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI, 2017) explained that temperature is an important factor in the reasonably controllable conditions of storage, distribution, and use. In many circumstances, food will experience temperature variation. Therefore, when determining and validating shelf life, which temperature or temperatures are appropriate for the food must be carefully considered. Producers must base their predictions for appropriate temperatures on the storage system, whereas wholesalers and retailers should use printed shelf-life data to reduce unnecessary waste (Göransson et al., 2018).

Generally, Indonesian societies are still not aware of the importance of health. People in these societies tend to have an unhealthy lifestyle and pay little attention to the food they consume daily. Due to these lifestyle factors, heart disease and atherosclerosis have become major causes of morbidity in Indonesia over the last decade. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which narrowing and hardening of the arteries occur due to deposits of cholesterol, protein, and minerals in metabolic waste (Campbell et al., 2008).

One traditional medicine whose storage methods should be considered is anti-atherosclerosis herbs. These herbs are a simplicia mixture of tanjung leaves (Mimusops elengi L.), starfruit leaves (Averrhoa carambola), and curcuma (Curcuma xanthorriza). In Central Java, a combination of these three herbs has been empirically shown to be an effective herbal medicine for blood clots and blood circulation (Rahminiwati et al., 2019). The anti-cholesterol effect of tanjung leaves has already been tested pre-clinically, and most of the catechins in the leaves’ extract are 36% effective for decreasing cholesterol levels in mice (Tristantini and Pradana, 2017). Starfruit leaves have also been tested by Shahreen et al. (2012), who found that their extract has antihyperglycemic properties. To reduce atherosclerosis in blood vessels, cholesterol levels can be reduced naturally by optimizing liver metabolism. Thus, curcuma is hepatoprotective and can optimize liver metabolism due to its flavonoids protect liver cells from toxic substances, of which curcuminoid is the most common (Devaraj et al., 2010). The functional correlation between anti-cholesterol, anti-hyperglycemic, and hepatoprotection for increasing anti-atherosclerosis ability of these materials is shown in Figure 1. Due to the individual properties of each ingredient, a combination of 8.50 g of tanjung leaves, 2.55 g of starfruit leaves, and 13 g of curcuma in 600 ml of water is an anti-atherosclerosis herb with anti-cholesterol activity (Tristantini and Christina, 2018). According to Tristantini and Amelinda (2018), the extract has satisfactory anti-atherosclerosis properties with hypotensive activity in mice.

Although the raw material storage life estimation of anti-atherosclerosis mixed herbs has already been tested and has met the standards of the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM), the shelf life of the extract must also be studied (determining the shelf life of traditional medicines is mandatory based on government regulations (Tristantini et al., 2019). According to Mulia et al. (2015), the stability of a product needs to be maintained during the extraction of bioactive compounds, as this stability will affect the function of the compound. After determining the optimal tolerances, final product design selection can be conducted along with production allocation to the selected process (Rosyidi et al., 2016). Therefore, this study aimed to determine the shelf life of the anti-atherosclerosis herbs to maintain the quality and prevent people from being poisoned.

Figure 1 The functions of the ingredients of Indonesian anti-atherosclerosis mixed herbs


Based on pH testing on anti-atherosclerosis herbs, samples stored in the refrigerator for 48 hours had a more constant pH than those stored at room temperature for 12 hours. Based on the bacterial count of the anti-atherosclerosis herbs after 48 hours, herb storage at room temperature produced a higher number of colonies (1.24×108 CFU/ml) than storage in the refrigerator (2.36×103 CFU/ml). The factors determining bacterial growth were pH, temperature, water, and nutrient content. According to National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) regulations, herb storage in the refrigerator for 48 hours is safe. Therefore, anti-atherosclerosis herbs extract has the potential for safe shelf life right after extraction process based on these results.


The authors thank the research, lecturer, and academic staff in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, for providing the necessary facilities to carry out this study. This research was partially funded by the Publikasi Terindeks Internasional Saintekes (PUTI-Saintekes – Contract Number. NKB-2438/UN2.RST/HKP.05.00/2020), Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Indonesia Research Alliance (MIRA) Program, and World Class University (WCU) Program, which is managed by the Directorate of Research and Community Service Universitas Indonesia, Institut Teknologi Bandung and the Research Center for Biomedical Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, respectively.


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