Determination of the molar extinction coefficient for the ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay

W.A. Hayes, D.S. Mills, R.F. Neville, J. Kiddie, Lisa Collins

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The FRAP reagent contains 2,4,6-tris(2-pyridyl)-s-triazine, which forms a blue-violet complex ion in the presence of ferrous ions. Although the FRAP (ferric reducing/antioxidant power) assay is popular and has been in use for many years, the correct molar extinction coefficient of this complex ion under FRAP assay conditions has never been published, casting doubt on the validity of previous calibrations. A previously reported value of 19.800 is an underestimate. We determined that the molar extinction coefficient was 21,140. The value of the molar extinction coefficient was also shown to depend on the type of assay and was found to be 22,230 under iron assay conditions, in good agreement with published data. Redox titration indicated that the ferrous sulfate heptahydrate calibrator recommended by Benzie and Strain, the FRAP assay inventors, is prone to efflorescence and, therefore, is unreliable. Ferrous ammonium sulfate hexahydrate in dilute sulfuric acid was a more stable alternative. Few authors publish their calibration data, and this makes comparative analyses impossible. A critical examination of the limited number of examples of calibration data in the published literature reveals only that Benzie and Strain obtained a satisfactory calibration using their method. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-205
Number of pages4
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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