The purpose of this work comprise the assessment of the antioxidant activity of total anthocyanins from Perilla pankinensis samples (TAPP) by different analytical methods: 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH center dot) free radical scavenging, total antioxidant activity, total reducing activity, superoxide anion radical scavenging, hydrogen peroxide scavenging and metal chelating activities. Total antioxidant activity was measured according to ferric thiocyanate method. a-Tocopherol and trolox, which water-soluble analogue of tocopherol were used as references antioxidant compounds. At the concentrations of 30 and 45 mu g/mL, TAPP showed 91.9 and 96.4% inhibition on lipid peroxidation of linoleic acid emulsion, respectively. In comparison, 45 mu g/mL of standard antioxidant such as alpha-tocopherol and trolox exhibited 88.8 and 86.2% inhibition on peroxidation of linoleic acid emulsion, respectively. In addition, TAPP have found effective on DPPH center dot scavenging, superoxide anion radical and hydrogen peroxide scavenging, total reducing power and metal chelating on ferrous ions activities. Also, these various antioxidant effects were compared to alpha-tocopherol and trolox. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.