Purple carrots contain anthocyanins in addition to the provitamin A carotenoids in typical orange carrots. Simultaneous consumption of these phytochemicals in carrots may affect the bioavailability of carotenoids. The bioavailability of beta-carotene in humans was assessed from an acute feeding of orange (OC) and purple (PC) carrots with white (WC) as a control. Carrot smoothies were served to female subjects (n = 5, aged 21-26 years) for breakfast after 1 week on a low carotenoid diet and overnight fast. OC and PC smoothies were equalized to 10.3 mg of all-trans beta-carotene. Plasma beta-carotene was measured for 144 h following treatments. Peak plasma concentrations of OC and PC treatments did not differ. The PC treatment 0-144 h area-under-the-curve for beta-carotene was 76% of the OC treatment (P < 0.05). However, when the first 24 h were compared, OC and PC treatments did not differ, suggesting that anthocyanins in purple carrots do not affect the absorption of beta-carotene postprandially.