Silver and gold nanoparticles based colorimetric assays for the determination of sugars and polyphenols in apples.


Faculty of Bioscience and Technology for Food, Agriculture and Environment, University of Teramo, 64023 Teramo, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]


In this work, the exploitability of rapid and easy to use methods for the evaluation of the antioxidant capacity (AOC) and sugars content (SC), through metal nanoparticles (MNPs) formation, has been proved and applied to apples. In particular, an AgNPs-based sugar quantification assays and an AuNPs-based polyphenols antioxidant capacity assay have been used as tools for the evaluation of apple extracts composition. Both assays are based on the ability of the analytes (sugars and polyphenols) to reduce the source of metal (Au3+ and Ag+), stabilizing, at the same time, the resulting MNPs colloidal suspensions. The AuNPs and AgNPs formation depends on the analyte structure and concentration, resulting in red (AuNPs) and yellow (AgNPs) colored suspensions. Both assays require an initial mixing step, followed by MNPs formation under mild conditions (10 min, room temperature or 45 °C), and the colorimetric response is easily acquired at a fixed wavelength (AgNPs: 430 nm and AuNPs: 540 nm). The analytical performance of both assays has been proven, obtaining good reproducibility (RSD ≤ 6%,), sensitivity (LODs ≤8.7 μmol L-1) and recoveries (91% -113.7%). The produced MNPs (AgNPs and AuNPs) have been characterized using UV-Vis spectroscopy and TEM, and the cross-reactivity between assays, as well as the possible endogenous interferents, studied. The assays have been tested on 42 apple samples, and the data obtained compared with those obtained by conventional methods (i.e. FC, ABTS, and ion chromatography). The proposed AgNPs-sugars assay gives results comparable (R = 0.915) to those determined by ion chromatography in terms of total sugars, and the AuNPs-polyphenols assay results able to assess the polyphenols antioxidant capacity, being correlated with those obtained by the ABTS method (R = 0.922). This MNPs-based approach demonstrated to be an excellent tool for rapid and facile analysis of sugars and polyphenols in apple samples.


Ag nanoparticles,Antioxidant capacity,Apple samples,Au nanoparticles,Metal nanoparticles,Polyphenols assay,Rapid methods,Sugars assay,

OUR Recent Articles