Turmeric powder (Curcuma longa L.) is valued both for its medicinal properties and for its popular culinary use, such as being a component in curry powder. Due to its high demand in international trade, turmeric powder has been subject to economically driven, hazardous chemical adulteration. This study utilized Fourier Transform-Raman (FT-Raman) and Fourier Transform-Infra Red (FT-IR) spectroscopy as separate but complementary methods for detecting metanil yellow adulteration of turmeric powder. Sample mixtures of turmeric powder and metanil yellow were prepared at concentrations of 30%, 25%, 20%, 15%, 10%, 5%, 1%, and 0.01% (w/w). FT-Raman and FT-IR spectra were acquired for these mixture samples as well as for pure samples of turmeric powder and metanil yellow. Spectral analysis showed that the FT-IR method in this study could detect the metanil yellow at the 5% concentration, while the FT-Raman method appeared to be more sensitive and could detect the metanil yellow at the 1% concentration. Relationships between metanil yellow spectral peak intensities and metanil yellow concentration were established using representative peaks at FT-Raman 1406 cm-1 and FT-IR 1140 cm-1 with correlation coefficients of 0.93 and 0.95, respectively.
Keywords: FT-IR; FT-Raman; metanil yellow; quantitative analysis; turmeric powder.