Curcumin as a bioactive compound: biological properties and encapsulation methods

Document Type : Review article


Department of Food Science and Technology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Curcumin is a bioactive compound from turmeric which has different biological properties and health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer activities. However, the low solubility, poor bioavailability, and rapid degradation under neutral or alkaline pH conditions or when exposed to light, limit the food applications of curcumin. These problems can be solved by different strategies such as encapsulation. Therefore, different methods such as nanocomplexation, gelation, electro-spraying, complex coacervation, and pH-shifting approach have been applied to improve the solubility, stability, and bioavailability of curcumin. Consequently, the pharmacokinetic properties of curcumin including biological half-life and bioavailability/bio-accessibility can be improved resulting in better clinical and functional efficacy in vivo. Although the potentials of encapsulated forms of curcumin have been extensively studied in the literature, future studies can help to find better methods for developing encapsulation methods for curcumin for commercial and industrial aims. Accordingly, the present study was prepared to review the biological properties of curcumin. After that, the most common methods for the encapsulation of curcumin were also investigated.


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