Capsules: BetaSweet, the Purple Carrot

A colorful new carrot may be packed with more health benefits than the original variety.

| November/December 1997

Researchers at Texas A&M University have bred a carrot packed with beta-carotene and sporting a showy maroon skin. The carrot, called BetaSweet, tastes sweeter than orange carrots, is easier to chew, and contains more beta-carotene than the common orange carrot, the researchers say.

Beta-carotene is a “provitamin” that becomes vitamin A in the body as ­needed. It shows promise in ­preventing ­cancers of the breast, lung, stomach, and cervix.

The new carrot was developed at the Vegetable Improvement Center, part of the university’s agricultural experiment station. Directed by Leonard Pike, Ph.D., the center develops new vegetable breeds based on health benefits, rather than more traditional characteristics such as size or yield, according to a center press release. By breeding for specific compounds in the plants, the team hopes to help fight cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.

Pike and other researchers also have studied colored onions to compare varying quercetin content based on where, how long, and in what type of soil the plants are grown. Quercetin is one of many flavonoids that are known therapeutic agents, particularly for cancer. In the early 1980s, Pike developed the Texas 1015 sweet onion, for which he was dubbed the “Onion King” by the South Texas onion industry members.

If crop conditions are suitable, the BetaSweet carrot will be ready for a limited commercial trial in 1998, according to the center’s spring 1997 newsletter. After a two-year study, the variety should be ready for release to interested seed companies.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds