Curcumin in Turmeric can Sense Explosive

Curcumin found in turmeric is being used in the medicine as an anti-oxidant and tumour suppressor.
But, scientists are now using it to detect explosives in a cheaper way. Read the full story.

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Curry powder molecule ‘is cheap sensor for explosives’

The main chemical in the curry spice turmeric could be the basis for cheap explosives detectors, say researchers.

The curcumin molecule is already well-known in medicine for its anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties.


Now, research presented at the American Physical Society meeting suggests it could replace more complex solutions to spot explosives like TNT.

Rat searching for landmines
A curcumin-based mine detector could outperform the animal version

In tests, the films can currently detect explosive levels down to 80 parts per billion, but Mr Kumar said that for hgh-sensitivity applications like mine detection, they needed to increase the sensitivity further, by adjusting the chemical groups attached to curcumin.

The team, which is funded in part by the US government, is already in discussions with a company to develop the technique into a portable detector device.




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  1. Our Food is Our Medicine « The Epigenetics Project Blog

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