Stability of curcumin in buffer solutions and characterization of its degradation products

Ying J. Wang, Min Hsiung Pan, Ann L. Cheng, Liang I. Lin, Yuan Soon Ho, Chang Y. Hsieh, Jen K. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1336 Citations (Scopus)


The degradation kinetics of curcumin under various pH conditions and the stability of curcumin in physiological matrices were investigated. When curcumin was incubated in 0.1 M phosphate buffer and serum-free medium, pH 7.2 at 37°C, about 90% decomposed within 30 min. A series of pH conditions ranging from 3 to 10 were tested and the result showed that decomposition was pH-dependent and occurred faster at neutral-basic conditions. It is more stable in cell culture medium containing 10% fetal calf serum and in human blood; less than 20% of curcumin decomposed within 1 h, and after incubation for 8 h, about 50% of curcumin is still remained. Trans-6-(4'-hydroxy-3'-methoxyphenyl)-2,4-dioxo-5-hexenal was predicted as major degradation product and vanillin, ferulic acid, feruloyl methane were identified as minor degradation products. The amount of vanillin increased with incubation time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1867-1876
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Curcumin
  • Degradation kinetics
  • Degradation products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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