Tag: kitchen chemistry

Chemistry tricks with turmeric – and why its health benefits are overstated

Infographic on the chemistry of turmeric. Turmeric fluoresces under UV light with a yellow-green glow. Curcumin gives turmeric its yellow colour and is also responsible for this fluorescence, due to excitation of electrons in its molecules which then emit light as they fall back to the ground state. Curcumin also causes the colour of turmeric to be pH sensitive due to subtle changes in its structure. Health effects of turmeric have been hypothesised but are unconfirmed in humans, and poor absorption of turmeric by our digestive systems makes substantial health benefits unlikely.
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If you’ve ever made a curry, you’ve likely used turmeric – you may even have some in your kitchen right now. It’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about doing chemistry, but there are actually some pretty neat chemistry tricks you can do with it! In this post, we take a look at these, as well as the plethora of health benefits commonly attributed to the yellow spice.

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