Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Carrots Offer Colorful Surprises--and Health Benefits

Date:
November 23, 2004
Source:
USDA / Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Researchers with the Agricultural Research Service may have found the best way to entice consumers to eat their veggies: Surprise them. They're breeding carrots that come in a palette of totally unexpected colors including yellow, dark orange, bright red--even purple.

ARS researchers have selectively bred carrots with pigments that reflect almost all colors of the rainbow. More importantly, though, they're very good for your health.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus. Courtesy of USDA / Agricultural Research Service

Researchers with the Agricultural Research Service may have found the best way to entice consumers to eat their veggies: Surprise them. They're breeding carrots that come in a palette of totally unexpected colors including yellow, dark orange, bright red--even purple.

With their flashy colors, these conventionally-bred carrots could dress up any dull meal. But what's getting scientists' attention is finding that the bright veggies are full of pigments with impressive health-promoting properties.

Xanthophylls give the yellow carrots their golden hues and have been linked with good eye health. Red carrots contain lycopene, a type of carotene also found in tomatoes that's believed to guard against heart disease and some cancers.

Purple carrots owe their color to anthocyanins. In a class all by themselves, these pigments are considered to be powerful antioxidants that can guard the body's fragile cells from the destructive effects of unstable molecules known as free radicals.

At first, Philipp Simon--the carrots' breeder who works at the ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit in Madison, Wis.--was unsure if these complex vegetables could provide nutrients in a form that the human body can use.

But in studies with nutritionist Sherry Tanumihardjo from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Simon found that yellow carrots' lutein was 65 percent as bioavailable as it is from a lutein supplement. The two also discovered that lycopene from red-pigmented carrots is 40 percent as bioavailable as it is from tomato paste.

And for consumers who don't like tomatoes, having another food source of lycopene would be good news.

Despite their nutritional and culinary appeal, Simon's carrots haven't yet caught on in growers' circles. But that could change as consumers create a demand for these strange, but good-for-you veggies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA / Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "New Carrots Offer Colorful Surprises--and Health Benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041122093132.htm>.
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. (2004, November 23). New Carrots Offer Colorful Surprises--and Health Benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041122093132.htm
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "New Carrots Offer Colorful Surprises--and Health Benefits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041122093132.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Top 3 Outrageous Animal Stories Of The Week

Top 3 Outrageous Animal Stories Of The Week

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) This week's animal stories include a goldfish having surgery, a pizza chain giving out pets, and a tiger found on the side of the road. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins