This study was conducted to determine the potential use of anthocyanin-based extracts (ABEs) of wasted tulip flowers as food/drug colorants. For this aim, wasted tulip flowers were samples and analyzed for their bioactive properties and cytotoxicity. Total phenolic contents of the extracts of the claret red (126.55 mg of gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g dry extract) and orange-red (113.76 mg GAE/g dry extract) flowers were the higher than those of the other tulip flowers. Total anthocyanin levels of the violet, orange-red, claret red and pink tulip flower extracts were determined as 265.04, 236.49, 839.08 and 404.45 mg pelargonidin 3-glucoside/kg dry extract, respectively and these levels were higher than those of the other flowers. The extracts were more effective for the inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Yersinia enterocolitica compared to other tested bacteria. Additionally, the cytotoxic effects of five different tulip flower extracts on human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) cell line were investigated. The results showed that the orange red, pink and violet extracts had no cytotoxic activity against MCF-7 cell lines while yellow and claret red extracts appeared to be toxic for the cells. Overall, the extracts of tulip flowers with different colors possess remarkable bioactive and cytotoxic properties. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.