Key factors detrmining the quality of the beetroots:
- whole, not fragmented
- Healthy (a product with rotting symptoms or with such damage that renders it unfit for consumption is not allowed),
- clean - no visible foreign matter, if it has been washed - practically without excessive dirt and impurities, if it has not been washed, or if it has been washed and covered with clean peat
- free from pests,
- free from damage caused by pests,
- without signs of root growth in the seed shoot,
- undeveloped, devoid of secondary roots,
- free of abnormal external moisture, i.e. properly drained after washing,
- free of any foreign smell and / or taste.
The degree of development and condition of the beetrrot must be such that it enables transport and handling, and arriving in a satisfactory condition to the destination.
- For the first time beetroot are mentioned in the documents from Babylonia from 722 BC. About 400 BC beets were grown in Greece, and 200 years later they reached the area of the Roman republic. During the times of Charles the Great, and for the rest of the Middle Ages, beetroot was grown as a deciduous vegetable in France and Italy, and in Germany from the 12th century. In the fifteenth century, the red beet variety went to Italy. In 1583 several varieties cultivated at the time were described for the first time in a scientific manner. In 1753, Karol Linnausz described all species and subspecies of beets and gave them Latin names, valid until today.
- Beetroot is usually erect with a long main root and a rosette of leaves growing on stems. The leaves are oval in shape, arranged alternately on the stem and grow 20–40 cm in length. The roots are usually red in color, elongated, spherical, or flat-shaped. The diameter of root is between 2 – 10 cm. The plant produces sessile green flowers and can reach even 1–2 m in height.
- Beetroot is planted in the temperate climate zone. Main world production comes from USA, China and European countries.
- Beetroots are harvested manually or mechanically with the harvesters. Mechanical harvesting is used on the big acreage are farms.
- There are three types of beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris), of which beetroot (conditive variety) is consumed as a vegetable. Within this type there are three more types according to their shape and size: spherical, elongate and intermediate. For the commercial purpose beetroots are classified in two groups according to the shape of the roots: Elongate and rounded or flat-topped. This second type of beetroots (rounded and flat-topped) is the most cultivated.
- The edible part of beetroot is underground and aboveground. Young leaves contain a lot of protein, minerals and vitamin, more than roots. The root contains protein, fiber, vitamins (C, A, B1), organic acids (citric, oxalic, malic, vinous), folic acid and many minerals (including manganese, iron, potassium, magnesium, cobalt).
- Beetroot is widely used in the processing industry for the production of dried, frozen food, pickled, juices