Antioxidant activity (AOA) assays using nanotechnology are recently developed utilizing nanoparticles of transition metal oxides, especially nanoceria that can switch between trivalent and tetravalent oxidation states of cerium. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO-NPs) may act as both an oxidant and an antioxidant, depending on the preparation method and particle size. A novel colorimetric sensor for AOA assay is proposed with the use of poly (acrylic acid) sodium salt (PAANa)-coated CeO-NPs. PAANa-coated CeO-NPs oxidized tetramethyl benzidine (TMB), a peroxidase substrate, in a slightly acidic solution at pH 4.0 to a blue charge-transfer complex. Antioxidants decreased the color intensity of the nanoceria suspension, and were indirectly determined by absorbance difference. Detection limits, linearity, additivity and precision were calculated, e.g., quercetin quantification with the proposed assay showed a detection limit of 8.25 x 10(-9) mol L-1. The trolox equivalent antioxidant capacities of hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidants were compatible with those of conventional antioxidant assays. Potential interferents such as glucose, citric acid, mannitol, sorbitol and benzoic acid did not adversely affect AOA determination. The developed sensor is more sensitive and selective than similar colorimetric sensors relying on the intrinsic color change of nanoceria. The measurement wavelength is sufficiently red-shifted, preventing possible interferences from plant pigments.