Beetroot Beetroot is a biennial plant that belongs to the Chenopodiaceae family. It forms rosettes of leaves that are oval, smooth with winding margins. During the first year, beetroot also forms a hypocotyls tuber which is the edible part. The tuber is usually rounded, elongate, or flat-topped. It has a color similar to radish. A sugar variety of beetroot contains sugar in the concentric layers which correspond with the vascular and parenchyma reserve tissue. In the second year, a flower stem occurs. The flowers are yellowish-green and tend to appear in a group of 2 to 6 flowers. The plant is usually wind-pollinated.
It is a large and fleshy root vegetable eaten as a vegetable. It has thin, smooth skin that can occur in a wide range of colors. Its flesh has a sweet taste and is usually dark red, crimson, or even purple flesh. Beetroot is a great source of many beneficial nutrients such as fiber and carbohydrates. It is also an excellent source of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, sodium, and phosphorus. Beetroot also contains a variety of important vitamins, especially vitamin C, A, and niacin.
There are three main varieties of this plant; the common, red one eaten as a vegetable, the sugar one, and the mangelwurzel. Sugar beetroot is white in color and is cultivated mostly in order to obtain sugar. Beetroot sugar was developed in the 17th century. The mangelwurzel variety is commonly cultivated as cattle food.
Beetroot is an ingredient used in several dishes and salads. It can be eaten fresh, cooked, boiled, fried, or baked. Once cooked it can be preserved in sugar or vinegar (pickled). The pickled vegetable is used to obtain beetroot wine and to prepare various kinds of sauces such as a spicy hot sauce. The beetroot is also used as an industrial plant and used to obtain betacyanin, a natural pigment. It is used in food industries to add reddish tones to various kinds of food products. Beetroot cooking may be tough and requires patience because the vegetable requires a long boiling time.
The largest producer of beetroot in the world is Russia. Russian Federation specializes in the production of sugar beetroot. Up to 51366830 tons of raw vegetable is produced there yearly. Russia is followed by France (33794906 tons per year) and the USA (33457880 tons annually). Poland is the 5th world’s biggest beetroot producer.