Nutrient Agar is used for the cultivation of bacteria and for the enumeration of organisms in water, sewage, feces and other materials.
SUMMARY AND EXPLANATION
Early in the 20th century, the American Public Health Association published the formula for a general-purpose medium for the growth of a wide variety of nonfastidious microorganisms. This was in recognition of the need for a standardized medium for the use in the examination of water and wastewater, dairy products and various foods. This relatively simple formulation has stood the test of time, and with the name of Nutrient Agar, is still specified in current compendia of methods for the microbiological examination of a broad spectrum of materials. Additionally, it is used in the laboratory for the cultivation and maintenance of nonfastidious species.
Nutrient Agar consists of peptone, beef extract and agar. This relatively simple formulation provides the nutrients necessary for the replication of a large number of microorganisms that are not excessively fastidious. The beef extract contains water soluble substances including carbohydrates, vitamins, organic nitrogen compounds and salts. Peptones are the principle sources of organic nitrogen, particularly amino acids and long-chained peptides. Agar is the solidifying agent.