Fast Detection of Turmeric and Ginger Compounds in Foods Using Paper Spray

Jenn Hoskins
11th May, 2024

Fast Detection of Turmeric and Ginger Compounds in Foods Using Paper Spray

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Scientists in Italy developed a new method to measure beneficial compounds in turmeric and ginger
  • The method is quicker and more accurate than previous techniques
  • It helps ensure food products contain the health-promoting amounts they claim
Turmeric and ginger are more than just spices that add flavor to our food; they contain compounds that may have significant health benefits. Curcumin, found in turmeric, and gingerols, found in ginger, have been the focus of numerous studies due to their potential therapeutic effects. Researchers have been exploring these compounds for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties, among other health benefits[2][3][4]. The challenge with harnessing the benefits of curcumin and gingerols lies in their measurement and delivery in the human body. Curcumin, for example, is not readily absorbed, quickly metabolized, and rapidly eliminated, making it difficult for its health benefits to be realized[4]. This has led to the development of various methods to enhance its bioavailability, such as combining it with piperine, a compound from black pepper[4]. Similarly, ginger has shown promise in treating conditions like nausea and pain, but more high-quality research is needed to confirm these effects[5]. In a recent advancement, scientists from the Università della Calabria have developed a novel and efficient method to measure the levels of curcuminoids and gingerols in food products[1]. This breakthrough is crucial because it provides a way to ensure that products labeled for their nutraceutical benefits actually contain the beneficial compounds in significant amounts. The method, paper spray tandem mass spectrometry, is a significant improvement over traditional liquid chromatography because it is faster and requires less preparation. With the addition of a labeled internal standard, the researchers achieved high specificity and accuracy in their measurements. The accuracy values hovered around 100% for all spiked samples, and precision data were consistently below 15%. This level of accuracy is critical when considering the potential therapeutic uses of curcumin and gingerols. The researchers applied this new method to various real-world samples to test its robustness and reliability. When they compared their results with those obtained from the common liquid chromatographic method, the new protocol held up, demonstrating its potential as a standard technique for future nutraceutical quality control. This study builds upon previous findings that have explored the therapeutic potential of curcumin. For instance, the development of poly(caprolactone) (PCL) nanofibers as a delivery system for curcumin has been shown to improve wound healing, thanks to the sustained release of curcumin at therapeutic levels without cytotoxicity[2]. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, which are partly due to its ability to inhibit the activation of the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway, have also been highlighted, with variations in its structure affecting its potency[3]. The current method does not directly address the bioavailability issue of curcumin; however, by ensuring accurate measurement of curcuminoids in food products, it supports the broader goal of maximizing the health benefits of turmeric and ginger. As the scientific community continues to explore and understand the complexities of curcumin and gingerols, accurate assessment methods like this one are essential tools in the quest to harness their full potential for health and wellness. In conclusion, the innovative method developed by the Università della Calabria represents a significant step forward in the quality control of food products containing turmeric and ginger. By providing a fast, accurate, and reliable assay for curcuminoids and gingerols, this method supports the ongoing research and development of nutraceuticals and functional foods, potentially benefiting consumers worldwide.



Main Study

1) Rapid and simultaneous determination of curcuminoids and gingerols in food products containing turmeric and ginger using paper spray mass spectrometry.

Published 10th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Curcumin-loaded poly(epsilon-caprolactone) nanofibres: diabetic wound dressing with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

3) Curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin and turmerones differentially regulate anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative responses through a ROS-independent mechanism.

Journal: Carcinogenesis, Issue: Vol 28, Issue 8, Aug 2007

4) Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health.

5) Ginger for health care: An overview of systematic reviews.

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