Extracts of the white shaft and green leaves of 30 leek cultivars were investigated for their antioxidant properties, total phenolic (TP) and L-ascorbic acid (AA) content. The measured antioxidant properties included free radical scavenging activities against peroxyl (ORAC) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radicals (DPPH) and their Fe3+ reducing capacity (FRAP). The results from this study suggest that the green leek leaves generally have significantly stronger antioxidant properties than the white shaft. Correlation analysis between the TP and the M content and the antioxidant activity showed that phenolics and ascorbic acid contribute significantly to the antioxidant activity of leek. The three antioxidant activity assays were all correlated for the extracts of the white shaft of the 30 leek cultivars. Principal component analysis (PCA) elucidated the influence of part and type of cultivar on the antioxidant capacity. TP, and L-ascorbic acid content, whilst the breeding strategy and seed company had no influence. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.