What causes beets to fade during processing?
Loss of color in canned beets may be due to variety. It may also be due to canning beets that are too mature or were gathered too long before canning. If possible, use Detroit Dark Red or Ruby Queen beets for canning. Both of these varieties are deeply pigmented. To help retain the color, leave on the root and 1 inch of the stem when cooking the beets prior to canning. Also, alkaline water can cause red pigments in beets to turn yellow. Pickling (acid) may help keep beets red.
Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009