Determination of curcuminoid content in turmeric using fluorescence spectroscopy

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2019 Apr 15;213:192-198. doi: 10.1016/j.saa.2019.01.028. Epub 2019 Jan 17.


The potential of fluorescence spectroscopy is exploited for the characterization and comparison of different turmeric varieties based on curcuminoids content in turmeric powders. Fluorescence spectra from turmeric powders has been acquired by using excitation wavelengths from 300 to 470 nm with step of 10 nm to investigate the effect of excitation wavelengths on the emission of valuable ingredients for their characterization. Emission spectra revealed that fresh wet turmeric rhizomes show emission bands at 571 nm which is due to curcumin. It is found that main ingredient of turmeric powder is curcumin and best excitation wavelength is 467 nm for its maximum emission intensity. High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was used as alternate standard technique for determination of curcuminoid content in the reference samples. The curcumin content in the commercially available local turmeric brands were also evaluated, one brand showed significant covariance from standard fluorescent spectra of turmeric meaning this particular brand contained minimum curcumin content or have been severely adultered. In the next step the powders were heated at different temperatures from 60 °C to 150 °C (Normal cooking & frying temperatures) to observe the difference in emission spectra particularly keeping in view the molecular composition and curcuminoid content in turmeric. The results indicate that curcumin content gradually decreases above 90 °C. Principal component analysis (PCA) has been employed on all the data to statistically differentiate small molecular changes and adulteration by covariance calculations.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Anti-oxidant; Curcumin; Fluorescence emission spectroscopy; Turmeric.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Curcuma / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / analysis*
  • Desiccation
  • Reference Standards
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence / methods*


  • Curcumin