Direct measurement of the total antioxidant capacity of cereal products

Arda Serpen, Vural Gökmen, Nicoletta Pellegrini, Vincenzo Fogliano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

176 Citations (Scopus)


A simple and rapid procedure was developed for the direct measurement of the antioxidant capacity of cereals. It entails grinding of cereals, mixing with 2,2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) reagent, centrifugation and measure of the absorbance. The ABTS reagent was dissolved in a mixture of ethanol:water (50:50, v/v), instead of 100% ethanol, in order to overcome low solubility of water-soluble antioxidant compounds of some cereals. A reaction time of 30 min allowed plateau values to be reached during the antioxidant capacity measurement of cereal samples. The accuracy of the direct procedure was confirmed by measuring, in solid state, the antioxidant activity of pure phenolic compounds. The direct procedure gave results of total antioxidant capacities significantly higher than those determined by the traditional procedure (multiple extraction followed by alkaline hydrolysis) for most whole meal cereals, suggesting that such a procedure was not always sufficient to properly assess the antioxidant capacity of bound phenolic compounds in cereals. The proposed extraction-independent procedure for measuring antioxidant capacity of cereals will facilitate the inter-laboratory data comparison, the construction of reliable antioxidant capacity database and the screening of large sampling of cereals for their nutraceutical characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-820
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cereal Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • ABTS assay
  • Antioxidant capacity
  • Direct measurement
  • Phenolic compounds


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