We present an FTIR based assay to monitor the whole cell mediated oxidation of aryl alcohols by measuring the characteristic IR absorption of the hydroxyl group [OH] of the substrate and the carbonyl group [CO] of the corresponding oxidized product. This method expedites the analysis of whole cell mediated catalysis which is usually done by GC and/or HPLC. The FTIR assay had linearity with R2≥0.980 and sensitivity up to 10μM. The accuracy and precision of FTIR assay was found ≥81% and ≥94%, respectively. This assay was validated by GC which exhibited ≥82% accuracy and ≥79% precision. The time of analysis taken by this assay was 2-3min per sample in comparison with 20-40min by GC. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.