Quantitative detection of hydrophobic antioxidants such as butylatedhydroxytoluene and butylatedhydroxyanisole in picomole amounts
Review articleOpen access

AbstractA sensitive method for the detection of small quantities of hydrophobic antioxidant free radical scavengers such as butylatedhydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylatedhydroxyanisole (BHA) in aqueous samples is described. The procedure involves extraction of the hydrophobic free radical scavenger into an organic solvent phase, followed by the subsequent reaction of an aliquot of this extract with the stable cation radical tris(p-bromophenyl)amminium hexachloroantimonate (TBACA). In experiments with BHT and BHA, the loss of TBACA absorbance at 730 nm was found to be linearly proportional to the amount of antioxidant added, with quantities of BHT as small as 200 pmol being easily detectable. In aqueous suspensions of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine vesicles, assays of the aqueous BHT concentration showed that BHT partitioned strongly into the membrane phase, achieving very high BHT/phospholipid ratios. For a given concentration of BHT, partitioning into the membrane phase was greater in large, multilamellar liposomes than in either small, single-walled vesicles or in purified rat brain synaptic vesicle membranes. Direct assay of BHT and BHA in phospholipid membranes, however, was complicated by a nonspecific interaction between TBACA and the phospholipid.

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