Curcumin is a bright orange-yellow phytopolylphenol pigment isolated from turmeric plants with a wide range of uses from food coloring to an anti-inflammatory agent and an immunomodulator. Its chemical formula is C21H20O6 with a molar mass of 368.4 g/mol and melting point of 183 C. Its IUPAC name is (1E,6E)-1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione. It is a symmetric molecule and has three chemical entities in its structure: two aromatic ring systems containing o-methoxy phenolic groups, connected by a seven carbon linker consisting of an alpha,beta-unsaturated beta-diketone moieties. The reactivity of the alpha,beta-unsaturated beta-diketone moieties provides its diverse pharmacological properties. As an orange crystalline powder with a bitter taste, it dissolves slightly in hot water and milk. Curcumin has been widely used in eastern medicine (from treating common cold to arthritis) and as a flavorful spice in South-east Asia. Also, the FDA and WHO consider curcumin as a safe food additive.

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