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Determination of the curcuminoid pigments in turmeric (Curcuma domestica Val) by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography


A rapid, simple and reproducible reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic method was developed for the quantitative determination of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bis-demethoxycurcumin in ethanolic extracts of turmeric. The pigments were separated on a styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer column (Hamilton PRP-1), using an acetonitrile-water (55∶45, v/v) mobile phase. The pigments were monitored with a diode-array detector at 425 nm. The limit of detection was 10.2 ng curcumin, 11.1 ng demethoxycurcumin and 6.2 ng bis-demethoxycurcumin. Comparison of HPLC and spectrophotometric results for the determination of the total curcuminoid content for a number of turmeric samples, reveal that the spectrophotometric method invariably yielded higher results, indicating an overestimation of curcuminoids.

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Taylor, S.J., McDowell, I.J. Determination of the curcuminoid pigments in turmeric (Curcuma domestica Val) by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Chromatographia 34, 73–77 (1992).

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Key Words

  • Column liquid chromatography
  • Curcuminoid pigments
  • Turmeric,Curcuma domestica Val