The Chemistry of Curcumin
The Health-Promoting Ingredient in Tumeric
Department of Science
Borough of Manhattan Community College / City University of New York
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.
- 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.
KeywordsAcids and bases; antioxidant; curcumin; chelation; ester hydrolysis; keto-enol tautomerization; resonance theory; turmeric
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsDirected, Discussion
Subject HeadingsOrganic Chemistry | Biochemistry | Food Science / Technology |
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