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Any Antioxidants Inside?
April 3, 2007 16:20

Highly effective and portable development of Russian scientists helps to measure antioxidant activity of blood and other biological fluids or drinks, tea, juice or wine, for example, and bioactive additions.

Unique device – multifunction potentiometric analyzer (MPA-1) – was developed in Russian city of Yekaterinburg by chemists from Ural State University of Economy and their colleagues from research and development company. Said unit is designed for measuring antioxidant activity of biological fluids, food products and bioactive additions. The unit, which is simple in use and small in size, allows quick, accurate and cheap (in perspective) detection of general antioxidant activity of almost any liquid substance – from blood to cognac. Its uniqueness is due to two characteristics, which were never combined before – high efficiency and portability.

Technique, developed by chemists from Yekaterinburg, is based upon electron-donor mechanism of antioxidizing effect. Simple description is following: chemists “give” tested antioxidants easily detected objects, which “tear” electrons from them like free radicals do in human organism. Same neutralizing mechanism antioxidants use in an organism – they supply additional electrons to free radicals, thus making them less aggressive and almost not dangerous compounds.

For example, ferric compound may serve as “stool pigeons”. Ferric iron captures an electron and becomes ferrous iron. One can detect antioxidant activity of analyzed substances and measure, which is very important, its values by means of measuring concentrations of reaction components.

The technique is versatile, which adds to its advantages because there are thousands of substances, showing antioxidant activity. It is not necessary, and sometimes even impossible, to detect antioxidant activity of each substance. However, detecting antioxidant status of an organism, in other words, his own ability to fight free radicals, or total antioxidant activity of bioactive additions, multivitamin complexes or food products, is an essential task.


The device, developed on the base of described technique, allows solving all mentioned tasks, moreover, doing it very fast – one sample analysis requires several minutes. The unit is portable, thus easy and convenient in use either in laboratory, at work, in hospital (at rooms for patients), or simply at home.

However, use of this device for healthy lifestyle and food fans is possibly exaggerated, since scientists from Oregon have recently found out that flavonoids – world best known antioxidants – in human organism are quickly destroyed and removed. Thus, it is quite possible that food supplements, containing flavonoids, are useless, or even harmful, and antioxidant activity of liquid mixture in a glass of juice, tea or wine is not necessarily the same as in living organism.

As for medical, industrial and pharmaceutical needs – such devices can be very helpful. Currently pilot set of MPA-1 units is prepared for commercial production, the unit passes state standard tests, and technology of measuring antioxidant activity of food products and biological fluids is being certified in the Federal Agency for Technique Regulation and Metrology.

    Commercial Biotechnology
    Russian Science News
Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian Scientists     

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