Curcumin test of boron

Yellow solution of curcumin becomes and intense red color with solutions containing boron

Scientific name: Curcumin forms intense red complex with boron


The Home Scientist 019 - Testing for boron with curcumin (turmeric)

by TheHomeScientist


by Audiopedia


Wear eye protection and lab gloves.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

2C21H20O6 + H3BO3 → [B(C21H19O6)2]OH + 2H2O

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Prepare a set of water solutions of sodium tetraborate decahydrate of different concentrations. You can do this by a serial dilution of a known initial concentration solution. Place these solutions in wells of the test-plate.
  2. Dissolve some curcumin in ethanol.
  3. Add 3 drops in each of the wells.

Scientific background

Boron from boric acid ions forms a red complex called rosocyanine with curcumin. In this complex one atom of boron coordinates with two molecules of curcumin. The color of the obtained solution depends on the concentration of boron. This reaction may be used for detecting boron in water samples during ecology monitoring.


Published on 17 May 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst