In order to determine antioxidant activity, the five extracts/fractions of red onion peel were studied for their total content of phenolics (TPC), flavonoids (TFC), antioxidant activity (AOA), free radical scavenging activity (FRSA), assayed by DPPH radical in the terms of anti-radical power (ARP) and reducing power (RP), expressed as ascorbic acid equivalents (ASE)/ml. High TPC (384.7 +/- 5.0 mg GAE/g), TFC (165.2+/- 3.2 mg QE/g), AOA (97.4 +/- 7.6%), ARP (75.3 +/-4.5) and RP (1.6 +/-0.3 ASE/ml) were found for the ethyl acetate (EA) fraction. EA fraction had markedly higher antioxidant capacity than butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) in preventive or scavenging capacities against FeCl3-induced lipid peroxidation, protein fragmentation, hydroxyl (site-specific and non-site-specific), superoxide anion and nitric oxide radicals. EA fraction also showed dose dependent antimutagenic activity by following the inhibition of tobacco-induced mutagenicity in Salmonella typhimurium strains (TA102) and hydroxyl radical-induced nicking in plasmid pUC18 DNA. HPLC and MS/MS analysis showed the presence of ferulic, gallic, protocatechuic acids, quercetin and kaempferol. The large amount of polyphenols contained in EA fraction may cause its strong antioxidant and antimutagenic properties. This information shows that EA fraction of red onion peel can be used as natural antioxidant in nutraceutical preparations.