Antibacterial activity of turmeric oil: a byproduct from curcumin manufacture

J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Oct;47(10):4297-300. doi: 10.1021/jf990308d.


Curcumin, the yellow color pigment of turmeric, is produced industrially from turmeric oleoresin. The mother liquor after isolation of curcumin from oleoresin contains approximately 40% oil. The oil was extracted from the mother liquor using hexane at 60 degrees C, and the hexane extract was separated into three fractions using silica gel column chromatography. These fractions were tested for antibacterial activity by pour plate method against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Fraction II eluted with 5% ethyl acetate in hexane was found to be most active fraction. The turmeric oil, fraction I, and fraction II were analyzed by GC and GC-MS. ar-Turmerone, turmerone, and curlone were found to be the major compounds present in these fractions along with other oxygenated compounds.

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus / drug effects
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Curcuma
  • Curcumin / chemistry*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Food Coloring Agents / pharmacology*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Food Coloring Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • turmeric extract
  • Curcumin