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BACKGROUND: Anthocyanins have been recognized as health-enhancing substances due to their antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and hypoglycemic effects. The objective was to identify anthocyanins-rich rice grains for the development of functional foods and/or functional food colorants METHODS AND RESULTS: Rice grains of one black and three red-hulled rice varieties were extracted with acidified 80% aqueous methanol. The antioxidant activity of the methanolic extracts was screened on TLC plates and in an in vitro assay using DPPH (1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) as a free radical source. Red-hulled rice varieties exhibited higher antioxidant activity (88%, 1 mg/mL) than black rice (67%, 1 mg/mL). Among the red-hulled varieties tested, rice variety SSALBYEO54 (901452) was the most active (72%, 0.5 mg/mL). Rice extracted anthocyanin compounds were analyzed by HPLC-DAD-FLD and LC-MS/MS. Red-hulled varieties comprised cyanidin-3-glucoside in addition to ferulic acid esters, apigenin and kaempferol glycosides. CONCLUSION(s): Anthocyanins identified in the black rice variety were cyanidin-7-O-galactoside, cyanidin-3-O- glucoside, cyanidin-3’-O-glucoside, cyanidin-5-O-glucoside, cyanidin-3, 7-O-diglucoside, cyanidin-3, 5-O-diglucoside and peonidin-4’-O-glucoside. The results of this study show that the black rice (IT212512) and red-hulled rice variety SSALBYEO54 (901452) contain notable antioxidant activity for potential use in nutraceutical or functional food formulations.