The analytical performance of the newly proposed laser-based photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS) and of optothermal window (OW) method for quantification of total anthocyanin concentration (TAC) in five sour cherry varieties is compared to that of the spectrophotometry (SP). High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to identify and quantify specific anthocyanins. Both, PAS and OW are direct methods that unlike SP and HPLC obviate the need for the extraction of analyte. The outcome of the study leads to the conclusion that PAS and OW are both suitable for quick screening of TAC in sour cherries. The correlation between the two methods and SP is linear with R-2 = 0.9887 for PAS and R-2 = 0.9918 for OW, respectively. Both methods are capable of the rapid determination of TAC in sour cherries without a need for a laborious sample pretreatment. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.