Plattner,S.; Erb,R.; Chervet,J.P.; Oberacher,H.;
In this proof-of-principle study, the applicability of electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) to characterize the reducing potencies of natural antioxidants is demonstrated. The ESI source represents a controlled-current electrochemical cell. The interfacial potential at the emitter electrode will be at or near the electrochemical potential of those reactions that sufficiently supply all the required current for the ESI circuit. Indicator molecules prone to oxidation in ESI such as amodiaquine were used to visualize the impact of reducing compounds on the interfacial potential. The extent of inhibition of the oxidation of the indicator molecule was found to be dependent on the kind and amount of antioxidant added. Concentration-inhibition curves were constructed and used to compare reducing potencies and to rank antioxidants. This ranking was found to be dependent on the electrode material-indicator molecule combination applied. For fast and automated characterization of the reducing potencies of electrochemically active molecules, a flow-injection system was combined with ESI-MS. Liquid chromatography was used to process complex biological samples, such as red and white wine. Due to their high content of different polyphenols, red wine fractions were found to exhibit higher reducing potencies than the corresponding white wine fractions. Furthermore, for 14 important natural antioxidants, the results obtained with the controlled-current EC-ESI-MS assay were compared to those obtained with chemical antioxidant assays. Irrespectively of the kind of assay used to test the reducing potency, gallic acid, quercetin, and epicatechin were found to be potent reductants. Other antioxidants performed well in one particular assay only. This observation suggests that different kinds of redox and antioxidant chemistry were assessed with each of the assays applied. Therefore, several assays should be used to comprehensively study antioxidants and their reducing potencies.
Anal Bioanal Chem 2014 406:213-24