Modified Folin-Ciocalteu Antioxidant Capacity Assay for Measuring Lipophilic Antioxidants

Berker K. I., Olgun F. A. O., Özyurt D., Demirata B., Apak R.

JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY, vol.61, no.20, pp.4783-4791, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 61 Issue: 20
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/jf400249k
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.4783-4791
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Folin-Ciocalteu (FC) method of performing a total phenolics assay, originally developed for protein determination, has recently evolved as a total antioxidant capacity assay but was found to be incapable of measuring lipophilic antioxidants due to the high affinity of the FC chromophore, that is, multivalent-charged phospho-tungsto-molybdate(V), toward water. Thus, the FC method was modified and standardized so as to enable simultaneous measurement of lipophilic and hydrophilic, antioxidants in NaOH-added isobutanol-water medium. Optimal conditions were as follows: dilution ratio of aqueous FC reagent with iso-BuOH (1:2, v/v), final NaOH concentration of 3.5 x 10(-2) M, reaction time of 20 min, and maximum absorption wavelength of 665 rim. The modified procedure was successfully applied to the total antioxidant capacity assay of trolox, quercetin, ascorbic acid, gallic acid, catechin, caffeic acid; ferulic acid, rosmarinic acid, glutathione, and cysteine, as well as of lipophilic antioxidants such as alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene, tertiary butylhydroquinone, lauryl gallate, and beta-carotene. The modified FC method reliably quantified ascorbic acid, whereas the conventional method could not. The modified method was reproducible and additive in terms of total antioxidant capacity values of constituents of complex mixtures such as olive oil extract and herbal tea infusion. The trolox equivalent antioxidant capacities of the tested antioxidant compounds correlated well with those found by the Cupric Reducing Antioxidant Capacity reference method.