United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service, Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, Bldg. 303, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, 10300 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA. [Email]
Yellow turmeric (Curcuma longa) is widely used for culinary and medicinal purposes, and as a dietary supplement. Due to the commercial popularity of C. longa, economic adulteration and contamination with botanical additives and chemical substances has increased. This study used FT-IR spectroscopy for identifying and estimating white turmeric (Curcuma zedoaria), and Sudan Red G dye mixed with yellow turmeric powder. Fifty replicates of yellow turmeric-Sudan Red mixed samples (1%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% Sudan Red, w/w) and fifty replicates of yellow turmeric-white turmeric mixed samples (10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% white turmeric, w/w) were prepared. The IR spectra of the pure compounds and mixtures were analyzed. The 748 cm-1 Sudan Red peak and the 1078 cm-1 white turmeric peak were used as spectral fingerprints. A partial least square regression (PLSR) model was developed for each mixture type to estimate adulteration concentrations. The coefficient of determination (R2v) for the Sudan Red mixture model was 0.97 with a root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) equal to 1.3%. R2v and RMSEP for the white turmeric model were 0.95 and 3.0%, respectively. Our results indicate that the method developed in this study can be used to identify and quantify yellow turmeric powder adulteration.