The action of extracts from anthocyanin-enriched plums and peaches on growth and differentiation was studied with human colon cancer cells. Growth inhibitory effects were observed in Caco-2, SW1116, HT29 and NCM460 cells. In Caco-2 cells but not in the other cells studied there was evidence for increased differentiation as judged by increased activity of alkaline phosphatase and dipeptidyl peptidase. A differentiating effect on Caco-2 cells was not seen with cyanidin or cyanidin-3-glucoside but the action of the fruit extracts was additive with the action of butyrate and with the MEK1/2 inhibitor U0126. Fractionation using C18 indicated activity resided within a fraction containing anthocyanins but further fractionation using LH-20 suggested that most of the activity was in a fraction containing polyphenols other than anthocyanins. It was concluded that several peach and plum phenolic molecules can influence growth and differentiation in human colon cancer cells.