Writing in the Journal of Functional Foods, the researchers said that beetroot juice may provide “a significant source of dietary polyphenols,” which contributes to the juices high antioxidant content. They added that a shot type drink “can provide a significant quantity of these bioactive components together with a convenient method for consumption.”
“Given the potential for the multiple health benefits of polyphenol consumption, beverages containing high levels can be considered a positive addition to the diet,” said the researchers, led by Dr. Lisa Ryan from the Functional Food Centre at Oxford Brookes.
“Additionally, both sensory characteristics and convenience would appear to be important factors in obtaining an increased level of consumption amongst the general public,” they added.
Dr. Ryan and her colleagues said consumption of natural produce that are rich in antioxidant compounds may help to redress the balance of oxidative.
They added that specific interest in beetroot has arisen because it is a rich source of a number of polyphenolic compounds.
Beetroot predominately contains pigments called betalains, a class of betalamic acid derivatives that are composed of betacyanins and betaxanthins, and other phenolic compounds that may offer health benefits.
“Beetroot juice contains a high level of biologically accessible antioxidants as well as many other health promoting compounds such as potassium, magnesium, folic acid, iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, niacin, biotin, B6 and soluble fibre,” said the authors.
They said that consumption of beetroot in the form of may provide a more convenient alternative to consuming the whole vegetable.
“Convenience is considered a considerable marketing tool in the food industry, and conscientious food manufacturers are looking for ways to make healthy food, particularly fruit and vegetables, more convenient to consume in order that public health may be improved,” said Ryan and co-workers.
The authors tested beetroot juice shot for their antioxidant contents, measuring the total antioxidant capacity and total polyphenol content of a 70 ml beetroot juice shot after in vitro digestion.
The researchers reported that the shot delivered “a significant amount of antioxidants in a small, convenient volume,” adding that total antioxidant count of the shot increased significantly following digestion.
“[The] results clearly demonstrate that antioxidants contained in this … product become more accessible following digestion than those in other vegetable juice products,” said Ryan and colleagues.
They concluded that a beetroot shot delivers a high amount of bioaccessible antioxidants, “and may be a cost effective and convenient method of increasing antioxidant status.”
Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2011.05.007
“A beetroot juice shot is a significant and convenient source of bioaccessible antioxidants”
Authors: P.C. Wootton-Beard, L. Ryan