What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is a coloring substance found in turmeric, whose principle coloring components are: diferuloylmethane, p-hydroxycinnamoylferuloylmethane and p, p-dihydroxydicinamoyl methane. It is an orange-yellow crystalline powder obtained by solvent extraction of ground rhizomes of turmeric and purification of extract is done by crystallization.


It is stable at high temperatures and in acids, but unstable in alkaline conditions and in the presence of light.
Curcumin can be used in dairy products, fats, fats &oil emulsions, confectionary productscereal products, spice mixes, soups &sauces, meat &meat products.

Curcumin is:

01. Oil Soluble Pigment having a melting point of 1740C
02. Stable at acidic pH
03. Light sensitive

Market Insights

The global curcumin market is expected to reach USD 85 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 12.1% during 2018-2023.The Asia-Pacific region is an emerging area for the market, owing to the growing demand from cosmetics skincare manufacturers& food processors whose herbal and natural ingredients are gaining fast penetration. The region also accounts for 85% of the total global production of curcumin.

The major players include – Arjuna Natural Extracts Ltd, Dolphin Organica, Sabinsa, Synthite Industries, Biomax Life Sciences, Hindustan Mint & Agro Products, Star Hi Herbs, Herboveda India, and Helmigs Prima Sejahtera, among others.

“The most conventional method for extraction of Curcumin has been soxhlet extraction.Soxhlet extraction is a time consuming, laborious process and makes use of bulk amount of organic solvents.”

Variables that effect Curcumin yield during extraction process are:

1. Temperature
2. Particle Size
3. Mixing Time
4. Solvent (ethanol) to meal ratio


Curcumin is very important due to its use in foods, cosmetics and medicines.

  • It is used to impart colour to food products.
  • It is also used as an antioxidant to prevent the rancidity.
  • It is used as medicine to treat digestive disorders, purify blood, kill germs, protect liver and reduce cholesterol level.
  • It is very effective as anti-inflammatory, anti-HIV, anti-cancer, anti-thrombosis and anti-Alzheimer.
  • It has unique bio-protective properties which help in neutralizing the free radicals on the surface of skin, thereby retarding aging and damage due to UV radiations.


The extraction of Curcumin involves sieving turmeric powder, washing it with solvent such as ethanol and distilling it to separate the mixture of solute and solvent. Distillation can be performed by heating the mixture to the boiling point of either the solvent or the solute, whichever has a low boiling point. The oleoresin so obtained is then further washed using selective solvents.



The most conventional method for extraction of curcumin has been soxhlet extraction. This process is a time consuming. As the heating process continues for long hours, the approach possibly involves high risk of thermal decomposition of target molecules.

A number of studies are undertaken to separate curcuminoid pigments by thin layer chromatography (TLC), column chromatography. HPLC method was sensitive, precise, and accurate for detection and quantification of curcuminoids in the extract of turmeric.

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