Antioxidant Assays for Plant and Food Components

J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Mar 11;57(5):1655-66. doi: 10.1021/jf803537k.


Recently, research on natural antioxidants has become increasingly active in various fields. Accordingly, numerous articles on natural antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids, vitamins, and volatile chemicals, have been published. Assays developed to evaluate the antioxidant activity of plants and food constituents vary. Therefore, to investigate the antioxidant activity of chemical(s), choosing an adequate assay based on the chemical(s) of interest is critical. There are two general types of assays widely used for different antioxidant studies. One is an assay associated with lipid peroxidations, including the thiobarbituric acid assay (TBA), malonaldehyde/high-performance liquid chromatography (MA/HPLC) assay, malonaldehyde/gas chromatography (MA/GC) assay, beta-carotene bleaching assay, and conjugated diene assay. Other assays are associated with electron or radical scavenging, including the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) assay, ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) assay, ferrous oxidation-xylenol orange (FOX) assay, ferric thiocyanate (FTC) assay, and aldehyde/carboxylic acid (ACA) assay. In this review, assays used recently were selected for extended discussion, including discussion of the mechanisms underlying each assay and its application to various plants and foods.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Chemistry Techniques, Analytical / methods*
  • Food Analysis*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*
  • Plants / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts