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  • Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) belongs to the Chenopodiaceae family.
  • There are several cultivars including Red Sphere, Rocket and Wodan (Mroczek, 2012).


  • The compound responsible for the reddish-purple colour of beetroot is betalain, a water-soluble pigment found in the tuberous part of beetroots (Vieira Teixeira da Silva, 2019).
  • Four betalains predominate in red beetroot: 2 betacyanins (betanin and isobetanin) and 2 betaxanthins (vulgaxanthin I and vulgaxanthin V) (Lee, 2014).

COMPOSITION CHARACTERISTICS (excluding macronutrients, vitamins and minerals)

  • Betanin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective properties and anti-proliferative effects on tumour cells (Vieira Teixeira da Silva, 2019).
  • The root contents of 3 red beetroot cultivars were analysed: Red Sphere, Rocket and Woldan (Mroczek, 2012). The 3 cultivars contain 11 saponins consisting of oleanolic acid or aglycone including hederagenin and different amounts of sugars (Mzoczek, 2012).
  • Saponins have antiviral, antidiabetic and antihemolytic properties (Baião, 2017).
  • Beetroot contains a significant amount of nitrate, a compound with beneficial effects on cardiovascular health (Vieira Teixeira da Silva, 2019). Nitrate increases the production of nitric acid (NO) which helps prevent certain pathologies such as hypertension, and also stimulates the degradation of certain parasites and tumour cells (Baião, 2017; Vieira Teixeira da Silva, 2019).

Beetroot is also a source of polyphenols including gallic acid, a hydroxycinnamic acid usually found in tropical fruits, and quercetin, belonging to the flavonol family (Singh, 2016). Beetroot skin is also reported to contain ferulic acid, an organic acid (Baião, 2017).

*Average composition given as an indication: the following values are approximate and depend on variety, season, ripeness, cultivation conditions, etc. The data on polyphenols is taken from the Phenol-Explorer 3.0 database. All other data is taken from the Ciqual Table of nutritional composition of foods (2017) – ANSES, except for the Vitamin A equivalent which corresponds to the division of the Beta-carotene content by 6.

  • Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail. Table de composition nutritionnelle des aliments Ciqual 2020. Consultée le 06/08/2020 depuis le site internet Ciqual
  • Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail. Table de composition nutritionnelle des aliments Ciqual pour le calcul des apports nutritionnels CALNUT 2020. Consultée le 14/09/2020 depuis le site internet Ciqual
  • Baião D, da Silva D, Del Aguila E, Paschoalin V (2017). Nutritional, Bioactive and Physicochemical Characteristics of Different Beetroot Formulations. Food Additives. IntechOpen: Desiree Nedra Karunaratne and Geethi Pamunuwa, IntechOpen: 174 p.
  • Lee EJ, An D, Nguyen CT, Patil BS, Kim J, Yoo KS. Betalain and betaine composition of greenhouse- or field-produced beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) and inhibition of HepG2 cell proliferation. J Agric Food Chem. 2014;62(6):1324-31.
  • Mroczek A, Kapusta I, Janda B, Janiszowska W. Triterpene saponin content in the roots of red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) cultivars. J Agric Food Chem. 2012;60(50):12397-402.
  • Neveu V, Perez-Jiménez J, Vos F, Crespy V, du Chaffaut L, Mennen L, Knox C, Eisner R, Cruz J, Wishart D, Scalbert A. (2010) Phenol-Explorer: an online comprehensive database on polyphenol contents in foods. Database, doi: 10.1093/database/bap024. Full text (free access)
  • Règlement (CE) N° 1924/2006 du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 20 décembre 2006 concernant les allégations nutritionnelles et de santé portant sur les denrées alimentaires.
  • Règlement (UE) N°432/2012 de la Commission du 16 mai 2012 établissant une liste des allégations de santé autorisées portant sur les denrées alimentaires, autres que celles faisant référence à la réduction du risque de maladie ainsi qu’au développement et à la santé infantiles.
  • Règlement (UE) n°1169/2011 du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 25 octobre 2011 concernant l’information des consommateurs sur les denrées alimentaires, modifiant les règlements (CE) n°1924/2006 et (CE) n°1925/2006 du Parlement européen et de Conseil et abrogeant la directive 87/250/CEE de la Commission, la directive 90/496/CEE du Conseil, la directive 1999/10/CE de la Commission, la directive 200/13/CE du Parlement européen et du Conseil, les directives 2002/67/CE et 2008/5/CE de la Commission et le règlement (CE) n°608/2004 de la Commission.
  • Singh JP, Kaur A, Shevkani K, Singh N. Composition, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of common Indian fruits and vegetables. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2016;53(11):4056–66.
  • Vieira Teixeira da Silva D, dos Santos Baião D, de Oliveira Silva F, Alves G, Perrone D, Mere Del Aguila E, et al. Betanin, a Natural Food Additive: Stability, Bioavailability, Antioxidant and Preservative Ability Assessments. Molecules. 2019;24(3):458.
Composition and analysis