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Chemistry
2019 Project Proposal

Impact of solvents on antioxidant activity

Sargit Kaur (Chemistry)

Note: Unlike the other URSI projects, this project will only take place for 5 weeks from July 1 – August 2.  The student’s stipend will be prorated accordingly. 

Natural antioxidants have received considerable interest in the past decade because various studies have shown their potential to combat deleterious effects of oxidative radicals in the body. A review of the literature shows natural antioxidants can range from non-polar to polar compounds, which also suggest that antioxidants are likely to be found in different parts and environments in the body. A logical question that follows is the impact of different environments on the activity of the antioxidants. In this study, DPPH studies will be used to follow antioxidant activity of select antioxidants (vitamin C, embelin, for example) in solvents of varying polarity and hydrogen bonding capacity (chloroform, acetone, DMSO, methanol). Given that reproducibility of DPPH can be a factor, the study will include the assay of butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) as a reference. BHT is a synthetic antioxidant that is used to prevent oxidations in foods (oils, for example) and has been widely studied in the literature.

Prerequisites:
1 year of organic chemistry

How should students express interest in this project?
Students can send me an email (sakaur@vassar.edu) with a brief description of how the project relates to their academic interest.