Berries are known to be rich in anthocyanins. These compounds give berries their distinctive colors and, more importantly, have several health benefits, such as contributing to the prevention of heart disease, cancer and inflammatory disease. In this study, anthocyanin-rich extracts from 12 colored berries found in northern China were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detection and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD/ESI-MS). Total polyphenol content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), total anthocyanin content (TAC) and antioxidant capacity (AOC) of the berries were assayed. The contribution of anthocyanins in the berries to their antioxidant capacity and bioactivity was also investigated.