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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Apr 24;50(9):2524-30.

Structural identification of new curcumin dimers and their contribution to the antioxidant mechanism of curcumin.

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Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, University of Tokushima, Tokushima 770-8502, Japan.


As a part of the research project on the elucidation of the chain-breaking antioxidant mechanism of natural phenolics against the oxidation of food components, curcumin, a main turmeric pigment, was investigated. A relatively high concentration of curcumin gave three dimers as radical termination products in addition to the coupling products with curcumin and the lipid hydroperoxide. The structural analysis of these dimers and quantitative analysis of their production rates revealed that radical-radical termination mainly occurred at the 2-position of curcumin. The contribution of the pathway for production of these dimers to the antioxidant mechanism of curcumin was estimated from the concentration-dependent data of the antioxidant activity and formation rates of these termination products. The A-A termination (dimer formation) was estimated to contribute at least about 40% of the entire antioxidant process against ethyl linoleate oxidation.

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