Herein, an electrochemical method is presented for the detection of curcumin in food using a carbon nanotube (CNT)-carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) electrode. The CNT-CMC electrode exhibited ideal characteristics for curcumin detection, namely, a high response current and adequate peak separation toward curcumin oxidation. Cyclic voltammetry revealed two oxidation peaks. In the first scan, only the irreversible peak (Peak I) was observed at a higher potential. In the second scan, the reversible redox peak pairs (Peaks II and II') appeared at lower potentials, and the potential of Peak I was decreased. Peak I corresponded to oxidation of the hydroxyl groups of the benzene ring to the catechol group via a phenoxy radical, while Peaks II and IT indicated the redox loop system of the generated catechol group. The current at Peak II was used to quantify the concentration of curcumin in the linear range of 1-48 μM and detection limit of 0.084 μM. The concentrations of curcumin determined by the CNT-CMC electrode in real food samples were consistent with those determined by high-performance liquid chromatography.
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