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Canning -- Vegetables

Why do beets sometimes lose their color after they are canned?

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Beets might look yellow or pink after canning. This may be due to the variety of the beets. Detroit Dark Red and Ruby Queen are two dark pigmented varieties that should retain color. To help retain the color, leave an inch of the stem and roots on the beets when they are cooked. After cooking, slip skins off and remove top and stem. Another possibility is that the water was alkaline. Alkaline conditions cause a change in the pigment from red to yellow. Acid helps retain the red color. The beets are safe to eat.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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