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Black Carrot

If  you've always believed that orange was the only colour of carrots, you'd better to change idea.
The carrots researchers from Turkey have been working on are in fact purple coloured.

This kind of vegetable originated 5000 years ago in Middle Asia, around Afghanistan, and then slowly spread into the Mediterranean area. The first carrots were pretty different from the ones we know today. They were white, purple, red, yellow, green and even black but not orange. Purple carrot is generally used as food colorant and is the basis for the production of a popular Turkish beverage, the Shalgam.
Researchers aimed at further investigating on the possible beneficial antioxidative potency of this vegetable and its derivative products such as Shalgam beverage and purple carrot juice concentrate. Purple carrots turned out to be a good source of anthocyanin pigments, the red pigments contained in plants acting as powerful antioxidants, grabbing and holding on to harmful free radical in the body. A free radical is an extremely reactive compound that seeks to replace its loss of an electron. This generates a new free radical producing the so called "domino effect".
There is growing evidence that free radicals may play an important role in the aging process.  As the body ages, it produces far more free radicals while its own antioxidants fail in reacting against this process. Antioxidants break the free radical chain by giving their own electrons, and then they go on without stealing more. Anthocyanins also prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting. That's not all. Purple carrots anthocyanins provide an excellent bright red colour at acidic pH values; therefore, purple carrot juice can be a good choice for colouring fruit juices and nectars, soft drinks, conserves, jellies and confectionary. Researchers compared antioxidant activity of purple carrot, purple carrot juice concentrate and Shalgam beverage to see which of them has the strongest scavenging DPPH (a stable radical used to estimate the radical- scavenging activity of antioxidant system). It came out that purple carrot juice concentrate is the strongest antioxidant.
This study was presented as a poster at the 2006 IFT Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, Usa

  
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