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Issue 1, 2013
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Portable ceria nanoparticle-based assay for rapid detection of foodantioxidants (NanoCerac)

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With increased awareness of nutrition and the advocacy for healthier food choices, there exists a great demand for a simple, easy-to-use test that can reliably measure the antioxidant capacity of dietary products. We report development and characterization of a portable nanoparticle based-assay, similar to a small sensor patch, for rapid and sensitive detection of food antioxidants. The assay is based on the use of immobilized ceria nanoparticles, which change color after interaction with antioxidants by means of redox and surface chemistry reactions. Monitoring corresponding optical changes enables sensitive detection of antioxidants in which the nanoceria provides an optical ‘signature’ of antioxidant power, while the antioxidants act as reducing agents. The sensor has been tested for the detection of common antioxidant compounds including ascorbic acid, gallic acid, vanillic acid, quercetin, caffeic acid, and epigallocatechin gallate and its function has been successfully applied for the assessment of antioxidant activity in real samples (teas and medicinal mushrooms). The colorimetric response was concentration dependent, with detection limits ranging from 20 to 400 μM depending on the antioxidant involved. Steady-state color intensity was achieved within seconds upon addition of antioxidants. The results are presented in terms of Gallic Acid Equivalents (GAE). The sensor performed favorably when compared with commonly used antioxidant detection methods. This assay is particularly appealing for remote sensing applications, where specialized equipment is not available, and also for high throughput analysis of a large number of samples. Potential applications for antioxidant detection in remote locations are envisioned.

Graphical abstract: Portable ceria nanoparticle-based assay for rapid detection of food antioxidants (NanoCerac)

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Article information

28 Aug 2012
09 Oct 2012
First published
10 Oct 2012

Analyst, 2013,138, 249-262
Article type

Portable ceria nanoparticle-based assay for rapid detection of food antioxidants (NanoCerac)

E. Sharpe, T. Frasco, D. Andreescu and S. Andreescu, Analyst, 2013, 138, 249
DOI: 10.1039/C2AN36205H

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