Recent advancements in curcumin extraction, chemical/bio-synthesis, purification, and food applications

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2024 May 8:1-17. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2024.2349725. Online ahead of print.


The ubiquity and versatility of curcumin (CUR) as a bioactive compound found in foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals create the need for its obtainment in the purest forms from the parent plants, especially Curcuma longa. To have efficient synthesis, extraction, and purification of CUR, environmentally sustainable, green, cost-affordable, and safe methods are of immense significance. To this end, we consider recent advancements in CUR extraction, purification, and biosynthesis in this review. The conventional and novel high-throughput techniques employed in CUR extraction including enzyme-assisted, microwave-assisted, ultrasound-assisted, pressurized liquid (subcritical), supercritical fluid, pulsed electric fields-assisted, and ionic liquids-based extraction techniques were comprehensively discussed. The chemical/bio-syntheses of CUR were considered, and the recent advancements in metabolic engineering strategies to enhance the production of CUR were deliberated. Furthermore, novel technologies associated with CUR purification, such as column chromatography, semi-preparative high-performance liquid chromatography, high-speed counter-current chromatography, preparative supercritical fluid chromatography, and crystallization were discussed in detail. We concluded by discussing the pilot scale and industrial production and food applications of CUR.

Keywords: Curcuma longa; Curcumin; application; biosynthesis; chemical synthesis; production; separation.

Publication types

  • Review