Institute of Bioanalytical Sciences

The antioxidative power AP – A new quantitative time dependent (2D) parameter for the determination of the antioxidant capacity and reactivity of different plants


  • Jung, K.
  • Richter, J.
  • Kabrodt, K.
  • Lücke, I.M.
  • Schellenberg, I.
  • Herrling, T.

Veröffentlicht in: Spectrochimica Acta – Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, Volume 63, Issue 4, 13 March 2006, Pages 846-850

In the last decade, naturally occurring antioxidants continue to play an important role in the food-supplement industry. The content of antioxidants in a plant depends on the species, temperature, humidity, period of growth, harvest month, part of the plant used and many other variables. Herein, we present a new method able to determine the all over antioxidative power (AP) of plant extracts or lyophilised plant parts based on the reducing activity against a stable test radical. The method is performed by ESR spectroscopy and is based on the well-known 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazil (DPPH) method with the major difference that both the antioxidative capacity and the antioxidative activity are used to characterise an antioxidant. The resulting antioxidative power is expressed in antioxidative units (AU), where 1 AU corresponds to the activity of a 1 ppm solution of Vitamin C as a benchmark. This method allows a rapid, unexpensive and general applicable technique for the measurement of the antioxidative power of very different kinds of substances. The inclusion of the kinetic behaviour of the reducing process of the antioxidant for the determination of the AP allows the identification of the main antioxidant present in a sample. Herein, we present the application example of seeds, sprouts and adult parts of dandelion, amaranth, quinoa, fenugreek, broccoli, red clover and mugwort, where the AP method permits to characterise the plants with the highest antioxidant capacity and reaction velocity. The method permits to select active plant extracts for the food and nutrition industry.