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Measuring Curcumin Concentration Using Absorbance Spectroscopy

OceanView Schematic Outlines Steps for Sample Concentration Testing

CircuminOceanView is the flagship software program for Ocean Optics spectrometers. Beyond simple data visualization, OceanView allows users to generate, customize and save spectroscopy projects using its Schematic View function. Saved projects can be reloaded or shared with others. The Schematic View presents each data processing step in a diagram format with icons representing the different devices and actions in your project. In the Schematic, you can view and manipulate the flow of data from your spectrometer through each of your processing steps. Data flow is represented by the use of arrows that connect different nodes. The nodes represent points where data is processed or manipulated.

In this project, we created an OceanView schematic for Vis-NIR absorbance measurement of curcumin, one of the active ingredients of the popular spice turmeric.

About OceanView Schematic View

The Schematic View provides all of the functionality of the OceanView graph view, plus additional capabilities to customize your spectroscopy measurements:

  • More than 70 algorithm nodes enabling a range of math functions for basic and advanced calculations
  • Subrange node to specify a subset of the spectrum or a single wavelength
  • Interpolation of spectral data to output data at consistent, evenly spaced intervals
  • Scalar view for monitoring a single value such as TEC temperature or an integral or average over a specified wavelength range
  • Ability to preview spectra at every step in your process

Create, configure and connect schematic nodes to read data from devices, to transform and combine that data through a library of built-in spectroscopic functions, and then to output the results to visual graphs and Microsoft Excel-ready CSV files.

Project Description

In this project, we adapted a procedure found in the literature for determination of absorbance of water-soluble colored samples dissolved in solution, and implemented the procedure using the OceanView schematic. Our setup comprised a USB2000+VIS-NIR spectrometer (350-1000 nm), visible light source, patch cords and 1 cm pathlength cuvette holder.  Integration time was set to 9 ms, with 50 scans to average and boxcar width set to 3.


Curcumin is a plant metabolite and an active ingredient of turmeric, giving the spice its orange-yellowish color. It’s most frequently used as a food coloring, but also has purported medicinal benefits.

For companies that manufacture food dyes and colorants, using absorbance spectroscopy to measure the concentration of curcumin can help to standardize production processes.

Project Import Procedure

Import the project into OceanView by going to File| Share project| Import. OceanView will guide you through the steps necessary to swap the spectrometer you are using into the project including allowing you to measure new reference and background spectra as needed for the different measurements.

For this project, we focused on visible-NIR absorbance for our curcumin solutions, using a SubRange node to specify the wavelength of maximum absorption (A) and Constant nodes to specify the specific absorbance, weight and dilution factor. We then used the Multiply and Divide nodes in the Schematic to calculate final concentration value and displayed it in its own window within the Scalar node.


Figure 1. A procedure for determining color concentration was implemented in the OceanView schematic.


Figure 2. Calculation of curcumin color concentration was accomplished within just a few steps using the OceanView schematic.

Additional OceanView Schematics