Curcumin degradation kinetics in micellar solutions: Enhanced stability in the presence of cationic surfactants

Bassem Aboudiab, Ali R. Tehrani-Bagha*, Digambara Patra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, the rate of curcumin degradation in the presence of various surfactants (anionic, cationic, and nonionic) and salts (i.e., NaCl, NaHCO3, Na2CO3, and NaOH) was investigated by photodiode-array UV–vis spectroscopy. The curcumin degradation at neutral pH or in the presence of NaCl during the first 16 h of the study was negligible (i.e., zero rate constant). Depending on the type and concentration of added alkaline salt, the color of the curcumin surfactant solution changed from yellow (λmax. = 420−430 nm) to orange (λmax. = 450−500 nm). The degradation rate constants and the final degradation percentage were obtained and reported for various conditions. The maximum curcumin degradation for the investigated surfactants was observed in the presence of 28.5 mM Na2CO3 at pH ∼10.8. The curcumin degradation rate was much lower in the presence of cationic surfactants (monomeric and gemini type). The gemini cationic surfactant (12-4-12) was even more efficient than the single chain cationic surfactant (DTAB) to suppress the curcumin degradation indicating the importance of cationic charge density of the surfactant head group on the electrostatic interaction with curcumin. Curcumin is deprotonated in alkaline conditions and carries negative charges; therefore, cationic surfactants can accommodate and protect it much better than anionic or nonionic surfactants against further degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124602
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Alkaline degradation
  • Curcumin
  • Gemini surfactants
  • Kinetics
  • Surfactants

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