Why Does Turmeric Turn Red?

Almost every Indian delicacy has Turmeric giving it the yellow tinge we love. You are busy eating your food when a spoonful of curry falls on your white shirt. You decide to go home and wash it. The moment you dip the shirt in soap water, the stain turns red. You are horrified! Do you know why this change in chemical occurs? Let’s find out!

Turmeric is known as the best healer is used in many antiseptic creams and skin creams. You definitely remember the ads of ‘Vicco Turmeric’. Research also shows that turmeric helps in aiding fat loss and helps in weight management and more research is being done to see how it helps cure illnesses like cancer.

Turmeric has been cultivated in India and other countries for the past 2500 years. It was introduced to China by India in 700 AD. Slowly and gradually, other countries started cultivating turmeric. It is an Indian spice, which is made by grinding the roots of Curcuma Longa plant or curcumin. It is yellow in colour and adds special flavour and colour to the food. It also acts as an excellent antibiotic. The curcumin content in turmeric helps fight infections.

What happens when turmeric comes in contact with detergent?

Turmeric has a pigment known as xanthophylls, which lends the yellow colour to it. It also has a pigment called as carotene, which is reddish orange in colour. When turmeric comes in contact with detergent, it reacts with the fatty acids present in the detergent and hence the carotene pigment gets more active than the xanthophylls and turmeric turns red. When turmeric is combined with any base liquid like soap it turns red in colour while when turmeric comes in contact with any substance like that of vinegar, that is acidic in nature, it turns yellow.

Besides being beneficial to mankind, it’s also an interesting object to study. So add turmeric to your food and keep up the spice in your life!

Beta-Carotene: Benefits & Risks With Smoking

Beta carotene(β-Carotene), with the molecular formula C40H56, is an organic compound found in many fruits and vegetables. It is primarily responsible for the pigment in orange colored fruits and vegetables, but also contributes to the pigment in red, yellow, and green colored fruits and vegetables. Though some food sources are rich in beta carotene, including cantaloupe, broccoli, spinach, and palm oil, carrots are the major supplier in most diets.

Significance
Beta carotene is accepted as an essential human nutrient, especially when there is a deficiency of vitamin A, which is  needed to promote healthy vision and skin. In fact, when a vitamin A deficiency is suspected, blood tests measuring the levels of β-Carotene are often performed as a result. Without this element it would be difficult to find other sources of vitamin A, though they do exist. The deeper the orange color of a fruit or vegetable is, the more β-Carotene there is present in it, and therefore the more vitamin A there is going to be. It is believed to have antioxidant properties in addition to its provitamin A function.

Benefits
It aids in healthy skin that is able to breathe and is free from excess grime and grit. It also repairs the rods and cones found in the retina of the eye and helps with eyesight in general. When beta carotene is ingested it is broken down in the small intestine by what is called mucosa. This results in the creation of retinal, which is a soluble form of vitamin A that is then distributed through the body, but mainly into the retinas for use in repairing and maintaining healthy eyesight. In addition, studies have found that β-Carotene prevents the decline of cognitive abilities in people over time. This was done in a study of people who took in at least 50 mg every other day.

Researchs
Studies into whether or not beta carotene and vitamin A could help to prevent of decrease the risk of cancer found that it actually increases the risk of lung cancer, especially in smokers or those people who have been exposed to asbestos. If you are a smoker, do not take its supplements and try to limit the amount you eat in general. Try to find a good source of vitamin A from somewhere else.

Warnings
Beta-carotene
(CAS: 7235-40-7), like most other nutritional substances, can be obtained in adequate amounts by eating a well-balanced, healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables. However, a doctor may recommend β-Carotene supplements for certain patients. Besides the increase risk of cancer in smokers, too much amount can also result in carotenemia or carotenodermia. This is a mostly harmless disease, though it can be a precursor to more dangerous conditions. This causes a yellowing of the skin, and has been debated as a myth in the past, though it has been proven to be a result of eating an abundance of carrots, which are very high in this nutritional supplement.