A biosensor based on mushroom tissue homogenate for detecting some phenolic compounds (PCs) and usage of the biosensor for quantifying certain substances that inhibit the polyphenol oxidase activity in mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) tissue homogenate is described. The mushroom tissue homogenate was immobilized to the top of a Clark-type oxygen electrode with gelatin and glutaraldehyde. Optimization of the experimental parameters was done by buffer system, pH, buffer concentration, and temperature. Besides, the detection range of eight phenolic compounds were obtained with the help of the calibration graphs. Thermal stability, storage stability, and repeatability of the biosensor were also investigated. A linear response was observed from 20 x 10(-3) to 200 x 10(-3) mM phenol. The biosensor retained approximately 74% of its original activity after 25 days of storage at 4degreesC. In repeatability studies, variation coefficient (C.V.) and standard deviation (S.D.) were calculated as 2.44% and +/-0.002, respectively. Inhibition studies revealed that the proposed biosensor was applicable for monitoring benzoic acid and thiourea in soft drinks and fruit juices. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.