Comparison of the 2,2-azinobis-3-ethylbenzotiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) and ferric reducing anti-oxidant power (FRAP) methods to asses the total antioxidant capacity in extracts of fruit and vegetables

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A comparison was made on the use of two spectrophotometric methods, the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) method and the 2,2 '-azinobis-3-ethylbenzotiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) method, for the measurement of the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of plant foods. The correlations of TAC measured by the two methods were highly significant in both water-soluble (r(2) = 0.90) and water-insoluble extracts (r(2) = 0.98) from 13 strawberry samples. Also a corresponding comparison of TAC in extracts from 14 plant species showed high correlation coefficients, r(2) = 0.98 for water-soluble extracts and r(2) = 0.88 for water-insoluble extracts. The ratio of TAC values obtained with the two methods (ABTS/FRAP) varied between 0.7 and 3.3 for different plant extracts indicating that they contained antioxidants with varying reactivity in the two methods. TACs in six pure antioxidant substances were ranked in the following order by both methods: quercetin > ferulicacid > catechin > rutin > caffeicacid > Trolox = chlorogenic acid. The two methods showed similar TAC values for quercetin, rutin, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid while ferulic acid and catechin gave higher results with the ABTS method than with the FRAP method, and such differences probably explain the varying ratios of ABTS/FRAP obtained in foods. Regarding storage TAC in water-soluble strawberry extracts stored at -20 or -80 degrees C was stable for at least five months while storage at 4 degrees C decreased the TAC value with 40% during five weeks of storage. The study showed that both the ABTS and FRAP methods can be used for convenient monitoring of the antioxidant capacities in fruit and vegetables, and that different antioxidants had varying reactivity in the two methods.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-246
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch