orange yellow colour derived from the root of the curcuma (turmeric)
Apart from its culinary uses, turmeric is used as a preservative, colorant
and flavouring agent in many food products including baked foods, pickles
and meat products.
yellow-flowered turmeric plant is a member of the ginger family. It
is grown in Indonesia, China, India and other parts of the tropics,
where the dried aromatic root-like stem is ground to form a powder.
It contains yellow-coloured curcumin, the key active component, and
also an orange-coloured volatile oil. The herb has been shown to have
a positive effect on a variety of medical conditions.
is an essential flavouring spice of Indian and other cuisine. The Turmeric
rhizome provides the typical yellow colour of many curry dishes and
helps to make the food more digestible.
can be artificially produced and has found application in canned beverages,
baked products, fish fingers, dairy products, ice cream, yoghurts, yellow
cakes, biscuits, popcorn-colour, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces,
gelatines, direct compression tablets, etc. In combination with Annatto
it has been used to colour cheeses, dry mixes, salad dressings, winter
butter and margarine.
is also used in product systems that are packaged to protect them from
sunlight. The oleoresin is used for oil-containing products. The curcumin
/ polysorbate solution or curcumin powder dissolved in alcohol is used
for water containing products. Over-colouring, such as in pickles, relishes
and mustard, is sometimes used to compensate for fading.
into the low incidence of colo-rectal cancer amongst ethnic groups with
a large intake of curries compared with the indigenous population have
discovered that some active ingredients of Turmeric appear to have anti-cancer
properties. Second stage trials of a Turmeric-based drug to treat cancer
are currently underway.
Turmeric appears to be very safe in recommended doses. However, there
is some evidence to suggest that – because turmeric enhances the
release of bile in the liver, high doses should not be taken by people
with gallstones, obstructive jaundice, acute bilious colic or toxic