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The Chemistry of Curcumin

The Health-Promoting Ingredient in Tumeric


Author(s)

Brahmadeo Dewprashad
Department of Science
Borough of Manhattan Community College / City University of New York
bdewprashad@bmcc.cuny.edu

Abstract

This case study was developed to engage students by making connections between core concepts in organic chemistry and the health-promoting chemical, curcumin, found in turmeric. The case is in the form of a dialogue between a couple about the surprising color change observed in their turmeric-containing soup when baking soda is added. Concepts taught by the case include keto-enol tautomerization, resonance theory, chelation, and pH dependant hydrolysis and ionization. Developed for a first-semester organic chemistry course, the case could be adapted for use in undergraduate biochemistry and food science courses.


Objectives

  • Understand concepts related to keto-enol tautomerization; resonance theory; anti-oxidant chemistry; organic acids and bases; pH dependent hydrolysis of esters and ionization of carboxylate group; and metal chelation.

Keywords

Acids and bases; antioxidant; curcumin; chelation; ester hydrolysis; keto-enol tautomerization; resonance theory; turmeric

Topical Areas

N/A

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Directed, Discussion

Language

English

Subject Headings

Organic Chemistry  |   Biochemistry  |   Food Science / Technology  |  


Date Posted

02/10/09

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