Turmeric is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, part of the ginger family of herbs (Zingiberaceae). The root and rhizome (underground stem) of the Curcuma lomba L. plant is crushed and powdered into ground turmeric. Ground turmeric is used worldwide for seasoning, being the main ingredient in curry. It is also the source of curcumin.Curcumin is the main biologically active phytochemical compound of turmeric. Curcumin, which gives the yellow colour to turmeric, was first isolated almost two centuries ago. Extensive research has demonstrated the renowned range of medical properties found in curcumin.Lakadong variety has a high curcumin content of 6.0-7.5 per cent, while that of the other two varieties is below 5 per cent. There is a very high demand by the pharmaceutical industry for turmeric varieties with high curcumin content as it can be used in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and dye/food-colouring industries.
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