A novel, rapid and cost-effective trifluoperazine dihydrochloride (TFPH) decolorization assay is described for the screening of antioxidant activity. A chromogenic reaction between TFPH and potassium persulfate at low pH produces an orange-red radical cation with maximum absorption at 502 nm in its first-order derivative spectrum. TFPH was dissolved in distilled water to give a 100 mM solution. The TFPH radical cation solution was made by reacting 0.5 mL of the solution with K2S2O8 (final concentration: 0.1 mM) and diluting to 100 mL with 4 M H2SO4 solution. A linear inhibition of color production was observed with linearly increasing amounts of antioxidants, with correlation coefficients (R²) ranging from 0.999 to 0.983. The antioxidant capacity of standard solutions of an antioxidant was evaluated by comparing with the inhibition curve using Trolox as the standard. Comparison of antioxidant capacity determined with this newly developed TFPH assay and with the well-known 2,2'-azinobis-[3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid] (ABTS)-persulfate decolorization assay indicated the efficacy and sensitivity of the procedure. The proposed assay is less expensive (costs about US$4 per 100 assays) and requires only 20 min for preparation of radical cation solution in comparison with ABTS assay, in which almost 12-16 h are required for preparation of a stable ABTS radical cation solution. The present assay has the advantage over ABTS assay that it can be used to measure the antioxidant activity of the samples, which are naturally found at a pH as low as 1, because the radical cation itself has been stabilized at low pH.