Oxidizing and reducing agents are key terms used in describing the reactants in redox reactions that transfer electrons between reactants to form products.

This page discusses what defines an oxidizing or reducing agent, how to determine an oxidizing and reducing agent in a chemical reaction, and the importance of this concept in real world applications. Also known as the electron acceptor, the oxidizing agent is normally in one of its higher possible oxidation states because it will gain electrons and be reduced.

Oxidation can include both normal, healthy biochemical reactions, such as the metabolism of energy sources, and reactions associated with stress or decay, such as oxidative stress.

The oxidation of tea is a key step in the production of tea that radically alters the flavor, appearance, and chemical composition of the tea leaf, and that is instrumental in distinguishing the different types of tea from each other.

Examples of oxidizing agents include halogens, potassium nitrate, and nitric acid.