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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 15 (2010) pp 59-61

Determination of Curcuminoids in Turmeric Using Visible Spectroscopy

Sally D. Solomon,* Susan A. Rutkowsky, Mozhgan Bahadory, Charles Boritz, Robert German and Charles A. Sineri

Department of Chemistry, Drexel University, Philadelphia PA, 19104,
Received November 18, 2008. Accepted November 8, 2009.

Published: 16 January 2010

Abstract. The percent of curcuminoids in the spice turmeric is determined in this experiment intended for use in a general chemistry laboratory. The yellow curcuminoids are extracted from turmeric with alcohol. From the visible spectrum of the diluted extract and the application of Beer’s Law the amount of curcuminoids present is found. The procedure can be done on the bench top using household chemicals and readily available equipment such as Spectronic-20s and stirring hot plates. This experiment also includes a guided inquiry section in which students explore the use of curcumin as an acid-base indicator. Typical results from a general chemistry laboratory class are reported.

Key Words: Computers in Chemistry; general chemistry; UV-Vis Spectroscopy, Beer’s Law, pH, Inquiry-Based Learning

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (41 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

A lab write-up for students and an instructor’s guide are provided. (337 KB)

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