McCormick Science Institute

MSI Funded Study on Turmeric & Black Pepper & Lipid Peroxidation of Meat Patties

Yanjun Zhang, Susanne M. Henning, Ru-Po Lee, Jianjun Huang, Alona Zerlin, Zhaoping Li, and David Heber


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MSI Team

January 2015--Researchers from the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California investigated the effect of combining curcuminoids and piperine on the antioxidant activity and the effect of combining turmeric and black pepper on lipid peroxidation during the preparation of hamburger meat. Link to the full text


Spices are rich in natural antioxidants and have been shown to be potent inhibitors of lipid peroxidation during cooking of meat. Turmeric contains unique conjugated curcuminoids with strong antioxidant activity. Piperine, one of the main constituents of black pepper, is known to increase the bioavailability of curcuminoids in mouse and human studies when consumed with turmeric. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether adding black pepper to turmeric powder may further inhibit lipid peroxidation when added to meat patties prior to cooking.


Spice mix combinations were mixed into each of the burger patties. There were 16 possible combinations of spices studied in triplicate, for a total of 48 patties made. The burger patties were labeled and cooked to an internal temperature of 77 C, packaged, and frozen until evaluation. The free radical scavenging capacity was analyzed by the 1,1-dipenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) assay. HPLC was used for analysis of curcuminoids and piperine.


The addition of black pepper to turmeric significantly decreased the lipid peroxidation in hamburger meat. When investigating the antioxidant activity of the main chemical markers, it was determined that piperine did not exhibit any antioxidant activity.

This study concluded that other black pepper ingredients are responsible for the increased antioxidant activity of combining black pepper with turmeric powder.


Zhang Y, Henning SM, Lee RP, Huang J, Zerlin A, Li A, and Heber D. Turmeric and black pepper spices decrease lipid peroxidation in meat patties during cooking. Int J Food Sci Nutr, Early Online: 1–6.
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