In our trial morphological and quality parameters of 15 table root varieties were tested at 3 different sowing dates: 15 April, 9 July and 19 August 2010. In the trials the root shape of the varieties form the April sowing date approached most the regular spherical shape (diameter/length –1.0) which is favoured both by fresh market and the pr...ocessing industry. In the July and August sowings the roots were elongated with reduced proportions. The highest red pigment content (betacyanin) was observed in the second sowing of July (>80 mg/100 g). In the late sowing (August, under plastic tent) a further 10–20 mg/100 g pigment increase was measured in relation to the earlier sowing dates of the same varieties. A similar trend could be observed in yellow pigments (vulgaxanthis) which proves a close correlation between the quantities of the 2 pigments (r=0.823). The highest vulgaxanthin content (103.3–124.18 mg/100 g) was obtained form roots of the late sowing harvested in December. Varieties reacted differently to temperature and so to sugar accumulation in the different sowing periods. In the July sowing higher water soluble solids content was measured on the mean of varieties (10.12 %) as compared to the April sowing (7.76%). Sensory evaluations included inner colour intensity (1–5), with ring (1–3) and taste (1–5) of the raw material evaluated by scoring. According to laboratory measurements better inner colour intensity was observed in the July and August sowing dates. In these samples uniformly coloured, almost with, ring-free roots were obtained. In our trial varieties from the spring sowing had superior taste. Early sowing is recommended for fresh market sale while the second crop (July) harvested in autumn can satisfy processing requirements. In the late sowing (under unheated plastic tent) fresh beet root can be grown at the end of autumn or beginning of winter, thus prolonging the usability of plastic tents.
It is well known that beetroot quality is determined mainly by the red pigment content (betacyanins) and its uniformity of the root. The effect of the most important red pigment components (betanin). the total polyphenol content and antioxidants were studied in 20 beet root varieties. Antioxidants were expressed in FRAP (ferric reducing ability... of plasma) values in pM/I.
Our results indicated a close correlation (r = 0.7799 and r = 0.7435. respectively) between betanin and total polyphenol contents of the root as well as between FRAP values.
Our measurements showed more than threefold differences in total antioxidant activity among varieties. the lowest value being 196.4 13M/1 and highest 702.57 pM/I. The corresponding betanin (16.3 and 57.8 mg/100 ml) and total polyphenol (37.5 and 85.5 mg/100 ml respectively) contents show similar differences. Based on our results it can be stated that varieties of higher betanin and poliphenol contents have higher antioxidant values as well.
Accordingly, the two compounds must have a role in the evolution of antioxidant effects.