Selected phenolic acids are determined by capillary zone electrophoresis and HPLC, each using UV detection. The optimised CZE background electrolyte contained 50 mM acetic acid, 95 mM 6-aminocaproic acid, 0.1% polyacrylamide, 1% polyvinylpyrrolidone, and 10% methanol. Twelve phenolic acids (gallic, p-hydroxybenzoic, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic, vanillic, syringic, o-coumaric, p-coumaric, caffeic, sinapic, ferulic, salicylic and chlorogenic) were separated within 10 minutes. Chromatographic separation of these phenolic acids was carried out on an Eclipse XBD C8 column using a mobile phase gradient (acetonitrile / methanol / water / 0.1% phosphoric acid); all were separated within 25 minutes. Electrophoretic and chromatographic determinations of ferulic and chlorogenic acids were compared on barley, malt, and potato samples. The methods’ characteristics were: linearity (1–20 mg ml and 0.2–4 mg ml−1), accuracy (recovery 94 ± 5% and 96 ± 4%), intra-assay repeatability (4.1% and 3.5%), and detection limit (0.2 and 0.02 mg ml−1).