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Use of Red Beet (Beta vulgaris L.) for Antimicrobial Applications—a Critical Review

Abstract

Red beets (Beta vulgaris L.) have high levels of betalains and other phytochemical compounds that are associated with antioxidant activity. They are ranked higher than other fruits and vegetables that are known for excellent health-promoting properties, such as Swiss chard. Red beet pigments have been extensively used in the food industry as a natural colorant. Although the antimicrobial activity of red beet has many potential applications in the food and consumer product industries, it has not been thoroughly investigated. In this article, we summarize the findings from recent studies quantifying phytochemical antioxidants in red beet in comparison with other natural sources and critically examine the current research where the antimicrobial potential of red beet extract has investigated, highlighting the associated challenges and limitations of these approaches. Finally, we discuss how red beets can be commercially exploited for their antimicrobial properties and future prospects for new value-added red beet products.

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The authors acknowledge the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada for financial support.

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Kumar, S., Brooks, M.SL. Use of Red Beet (Beta vulgaris L.) for Antimicrobial Applications—a Critical Review. Food Bioprocess Technol 11, 17–42 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11947-017-1942-z

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Keywords

  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Antioxidants
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Beta vulgaris L.
  • Betalains
  • Natural colorant
  • Phenolic compounds