Featured Vegetable Product: Red Beet puree
Red Beet is one of the highest natural vegetable sources for folates and provides a nutritious and colorful (red) vegetable ingredient for a wide variety of food and beverage products. Beets are also a great source of fiber and minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron and copper.
Beets were thought to originate in North Africa and today are a global vegetable. Red beets contain high concentrations of Betaine, an important antioxidant and anti-cancer agent. Betaine has been linked to reduced anti-inflammatory action, and reduction of C reactive protein levels in the blood. Betaine is reported to contribute aid in reduction of colon cancer, by inhibiting the action of nitrosamines.
Encore Fruit Marketing can provide an excellent source of Red Beet puree to help consumer products deliver one of the 5 A Day vegetable servings.
Beets are carefully processed from fresh, washed beets to provide the essential nutrition and red color, in a convenient, ready to use ingredient form. Red Beets are excellent ingredient to add a vegetable serving your retail label for beverages, yogurts, nutrition bars and snacks and other processed foods.
The beet has a long history of cultivation stretching back to the second millennium BC.
The plant was probably domesticated somewhere along the Mediterranean, whence it was later spread to
Babylonia by the 8th century BC and as far east as China by 850 AD. Available evidence, such as that
provided by Aristotle and Theophrastus suggests that the leafy varieties of the beet were grown primarily
for most of its history, though these lost much of their popularity much later following the introduction
of spinach. The beet became highly commercially important in 19th century Europe following the development
of the sugar beet in Germany and the discovery that sucrose could be extracted from them, providing an alternative to tropical sugar cane.
It remains a widely cultivated commercial crop for producing table sugar.
Beta vulgaris is a herbaceous biennial or rarely perennial plant with leafy stems growing to 1-2 m tall.
The leaves are heart-shaped, 5-20 cm long on wild plants (often much larger in cultivated plants).
The flowers are produced in dense spikes, each flower very small, 3-5 mm diameter, green or tinged reddish,
with five petals; they are wind-pollinated. The fruit is a cluster of hard nutlets.
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