Composition of Turmeric Root
Curcumin, which is widely used in the research field, is a molecule that is found in rhizome of turmeric plant. Besides curcumin, the rhizome consists of many other chemical constituents. To date, at least 235 compounds, primarily phenolic compounds and terpenoids, have been identified in turmeric. Curcumin and Curcuminoids are just a small part of the turmeric root profile as it has more than 200 compounds that are disregarded while we focus on curcumin.
Over 300 diarylheptanoids have been identified from Zingiberaceae family, to which turmeric belongs. These are the yellow pigments giving the characteristic color of turmeric. Usually their contents can carry from 3–15% of turmeric rhizomes. These are the curcuminoids. Typically, commercial curcumin consist of 71.5% curcumin, 19.5% of demethoxycurcumin and 9.1% of bisdemethoxycurcumin. Some rare curcuminoids are also present in small amounts. An example is cyclocurcumin with the cyclization of the seven carbon chain as pyrone ring. Phenylpropenes, vanillic acid, and vanillin have also been identified in turmeric root.
To date, at least 185 compounds of terpenes have been isolated from leaves, flowers, roots, and rhizomes of turmeric, including 68 monoterpenes, 109 sesquiterpenes, five diterpenes, and three triterpenoids. Whereas monoterpenes predominate in the volatile oil from leaves and flowers, sesquiterpenes dominate the rhizome extract.
Dried rhizomes usually yield about 1.5 to 5% of essential oil, the components of which are responsible for the aromatic taste and smell. Ar-turmerone, alpha turmerone, and beta– turmerone are the major sesquiterpenes in turmeric oil, and these account for about 40% of the essential oil. The sesquiterpenes of turmeric oil belong to 54 bisabolenes, six germacranes, four selinanes, two caryophyllanes, two elemanes, aristolane, bergamotane, and himachalane.
Two sterols and five long chain fatty acids have been identified in turmeric. Sixteen other miscellaneous compounds have been recorded in turmeric.
Approximate Profile of Turmeric Rhizome:
Alcohol Extractives – 14%
Curcuminoids (including Curcumin) – 4.5%
Essential Oils – 5%
Fixed Oils – 4%
|Resin – 3%
Fiber – 5.1%
Protein – 10.1%
Starch – 52%
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