Fruit weight, antioxidant capacity. total anthocyanins, total phenolics. ascorbic acid, soluble solid content (SSC), reducing sugar and acidity of a number of selected cornelian cherry (Cornus mas L.) genotypes of varied pigmentation were investigated. Two methods, namely beta-carotene bleaching and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) were used to determine total antioxidant capacity, while Folin-Ciocalteu reagent was used to determine total phenols. Fruit weight, SSC and ascorbic acid content of genotypes were 2.09-9.17: 12.53-21.17% and 29-112 mg/100 g, respectively. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content varied among genotypes and 44-18 genotype had the highest antioxidant capacity using both methods. This genotype also had the highest total phenolic (74.8 mg GAE/g DW) and total anthocyanin (115 mg cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalents /100 g FW) content. There are linear relationships between antioxidant capacities and total phenols. The present study demonstrates the potential of certain cornelian cherry genotypes, notably 44-18, for improvement of nutritional value through germplasm enhancement programmes. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.