Selective Depletion and Enrichment of Constituents in "Curcumin" and Other Curcuma longa Preparations

J Nat Prod. 2019 Mar 22;82(3):621-630. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.9b00020. Epub 2019 Mar 8.


Much uncertainty exists in science and herbal products referencing turmeric (T), turmeric extract (TE), curcuminoid-enriched turmeric extract (CTE), further processed curcuminoid-enriched materials (CEM), or curcumin as a single-chemical entity. To facilitate the rational chemical and biological assessment of turmeric-derived NPs, we introduced the DESIGNER approach of Depleting and Enriching Select Ingredients to Generate Normalized Extract Resources to Curcuma longa preparations. Countercurrent separation of a commercial CTE yielded four key materials-lipophilic metabolites; purified curcumin ("purcumin"); a mixture of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin ("purcuminoids"); and hydrophilic metabolites-and enabled production of a curcuminoid-free TE ("nocumin"). Their characterization utilized TLC, 1H (q)NMR spectroscopy, and HPLC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Countercurrent Distribution
  • Curcuma / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / isolation & purification
  • Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy


  • Curcumin