Comparison of yield, composition, and antioxidant activity of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) extracts obtained using various techniques

J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Oct 22;51(22):6604-11. doi: 10.1021/jf0345550.


Turmeric extracts were obtained from two lots of raw material (M and S) using various techniques: hydrodistillation, low pressure solvent extraction, Soxhlet, and supercritical extraction using carbon dioxide and cosolvents. The solvents and cosolvents tested were ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, and their mixture in equal proportions. The composition of the extracts was determined by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID) and UV. The largest yield (27%, weight) was obtained in the Soxhlet extraction (turmeric (S), ethanol = 1:100); the lowest yield was detected in the hydrodistillation process (2.1%). For the supercritical extraction, the best cosolvent was a mixture of ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. Sixty percent of the light fraction of the extracts consisted of ar-turmerone, (Z)-gamma-atlantone, and (E)-gamma-atlantone, except for the Soxhlet extracts (1:100, ethanol), for which only ar-turmeronol and (Z)-alpha-atlantone were detected. The maximum amount of curcuminoids (8.43%) was obtained using Soxhlet extraction (ethanol/isopropyl alcohol). The Soxhlet and low pressure extract exhibited the strongest antioxidant activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Chromatography, Supercritical Fluid
  • Curcuma / growth & development
  • Curcumin / analysis
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Ketones / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Solvents
  • Toluene / analogs & derivatives*
  • Toluene / analysis


  • Antioxidants
  • Ketones
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Solvents
  • ar-turmerone
  • Toluene
  • turmeric extract
  • Curcumin