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Carrots News around the World

NEWS! -  For the very latest check out the Twitter feed -   Carrots used to be better! here

The dark side of white lies: parenting by lying in childhood and adolescent anxiety, the mediation of parent-child attachment and gender difference LiuMeitingaWeiHuab - Children and Youth Services Review Available online 29 October 2020, 105635 - new feed -

Experts at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, selected 11 seeds from plants and trees that may be better suited to climate change than other species. The ubiquitous Carrot (of course!!) is in the list.

Bolthouse Farms Debuts New Line of Carrot "Swaps" - October 2020Bolthouse Farms Carrot Dogs

Taking a giant leap toward their long-term vision of Plants Powering People™, Bolthouse Farms today announced a new line of plant-powered products: Bolthouse Farms Wunderoots™, exciting new carrot-based "swaps" featuring Carrot Dogs, Carrot Fettuccine kits and Riced Carrot kits that provide consumers easy and delicious ways to eat more carrots. This launch follows the company's recent introduction of Bolthouse Farms Plant-Based Protein KETO™ beverage line and their Plant-Based Refrigerated Dressings.

Read more here -

Thai researchers roll out edible eco-friendly food wrapper made from carrot JUNE 10, 2020

The Nation/Asia News Network -

The Department of Agriculture has unveiled an edible food wrapper made from carrot that is environmentally friendly and highly nutritious.

Sermsuk Salakphet, department director-general, noted that most wrappers of food such as sweets and preserved fruits are made of non-biodegradable plastic, which creates waste that harms the environment.

"So the department's research division sought an environmental friendly alternative and found that carrot was the most suitable candidate to make an edible film," she said.

"We tested different fruits and vegetables with a high content of pectin, cellulose and starch - such as purple cabbage, tomato and mango - by heating and grinding them into a puree, then pressing it into a film," added Sermsuk.

"Carrot, at 30 per cent concentration, yielded the best results for elasticity and strength. We also added other edible substances to increase the wrapper's durability, including 3 per cent of alginate and 3.75 per cent of xylitol."

The carrot film is breathable so it is suitable for wrapping preserved fruit products and will last for up to two months. "Furthermore, the film is highly nutritious with 3,465 micrograms of beta carotene per wrapper," added Sermsuk.

"The carrot film is fully biodegradable and causes zero impact to the environment, not to mention that eating it will be good for your health, making it a better alternative for health-conscious consumers," she said.

"The [research] division has already registered the patent for carrot film and we expect commercial manufacturing to start soon."

New research suggests that oranges, grapes and carrots may contain cancer-fighting compounds that closely resemble those used in licensed drugs, says Brinkwire.

The study, led by Dr. Kirill Veselkov from the department of surgery and cancer at Imperial College London, found that of the over 7,900 molecules within fruits and vegetables, 110 have the potential to battle tumors.

This conclusion is based on the molecules’ likeness to compounds found in existing anti-cancer medications, explains The Times.

What makes fruits and vegetables act similarly once consumed is their abundance of antioxidants called flavonoids, which give them their colour. read more here.

Alzheimer's-like symptoms reversed in mice thanks to special diet of green tea and carrots that restored working memory

Researchers fed some mice genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer's a diet with EGCG, found in green tea, and FA, found in carrots

EGCG is an antioxidant that prevents free radicals from forming and FA is best known for its benefits for the skin

After three months, mice fed this diet had memory and visual-spatial skills restored and could find their way out of a maze as well as healthy mice

Scientists say it seems the compounds help prevent proteins from forming clumps on the brain and causing cognitive decline.

Dali Mail report March 2019 here

Carrots to be used to reinforce concrete here. Carrots make concrete stronger, study finds

Research funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 has found that fibres from vegetables can strengthen concrete.
Normally, concrete is formed of water, aggregate and Portland cement, but researchers found that adding tiny “nanosized” platelets from beetroots and carrots creates a stronger mixture by increasing the amount of calcium silicate hydrate generated, which is the product that strengthens concrete.

The vegetable extract strengthened the mixture so well that 40kg less Portland cement was needed per cubic metre of concrete. Lancaster University and company Cellucomp conducted the study.The team found that concrete containing vegetable composites surpassed mixes with additives like graphene and carbon nanotubes.

The vegetable additive is also cheaper and can be sourced from food waste.Prof. Mohamed Saafi, lead researcher, said: “The composites are not only superior to current cement products in terms of mechanical and microstructure properties but also use smaller amounts of cement.

“This significantly reduces both the energy consumption and CO2 emissions associated with cement manufacturing.”
Future research will determine if existing concrete structures could be reinforced with sheets made from vegetable nanoplatelets.

Cellucomp currently uses root vegetable fibres to produce longer lasting paint.

Carrots and cartoons boost consumption

Children consume two servings of vegetables while watching a 90-minute film during a recent study

Australian researchers believe a peeled carrot and a dose of cartoons could be the key to boosting vegetable consumption among children.

A study carried out by Deakin University’s Centre for Advanced Sensory Science found children consumed two servings of vegetables when given a box of whole carrots while watching a 90-minute film. read more here

UK Carrot Growers to launch nationwide organic carrot campaign HERE   Current output is around 7% and this campaign hopes to increase that number. (June 2018)

Eating raw fruits and vegetables could boost mental health and assuage depressive symptoms, a new study suggests - including, of course, Carrots! - April 2018

Researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand found that people who consumed more produce in its natural, uncooked state reported higher levels of psychological well-being compared to those who ate mostly cooked alternatives.

Surveying 422 adults between the ages of 18 and 25, the study also considered other variables relating to participants’ lifestyles such as overall diet, physical activity, body mass index and socioeconomic status.

While researchers were unable to identify a specific cause-and-effect for their results, they speculated that the correlation might be down to the abundance of micronutrients in fruits and vegetables being more easily-absorbed when consumed in their raw states.

Carrot vodka the latest approach to reduce food waste by spirited vegetable growers Sept 2017- What happens to the carrots that don't make the quality cut for supermarket chains? In south-east Queensland, Australia two farmers' wives have come together to create a unique style of vodka using the leftover vegetables.  Local news report here. 

Gen Windley and Alice Gorman, both members of Kalfresh's customer focus team, are behind a new Carrot Vodka, distilled using fresh carrots. The women were looking for ways to reduce food waste on farm by using wonky carrots, when they happened upon the idea of creating a vodka infused with carrot juice.

Carrot Genome Web Sequenced - May 2016 - An international team has sequenced and begun an analysis of the genome of the carrot, Daucus carota.

The new, high-quality genome assembly, which the researchers established for an orange doubled-haploid carrot, contains more than 32,000 predicted protein-coding genes. As the researchers reported today in Nature Genetics, they were able to track down a candidate gene involved in orange carrot pigmentation and gained insight into the evolution of plants in the euasterid II lineage, which contains carrots, lettuce, sunflower, celery, and parsley.

Read more here.

January 2015

Supermarket chain ASDA will begin selling misshapen fruit and vegetables at five of its stores later this month, in a bid to reduce food waste.

The ‘Beautiful on the Inside’ trial, beginning on 26 January, will see crooked carrots, misshapen potatoes and other knobbly fruit and vegetables sold at reduced prices to shoppers. The campaign will be supported by marketing material featuring characters such as: Carlos Citrus; Paul Potato; Suzie Swede; Claude Carrot; Alfie Apple; and Penny Pear.

November 2014

A study by the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian has found that children who grew up during the Second World War became far more intelligent than those who were born just 15 years before.

Researchers think that cutting rich, sugary and fatty foods out of the diets of growing children had a hugely beneficial impact on their growing brains.

Consequently, children born in 1936 grew up to have IQ scores on average 16.5 points ahead of those born in 1921.

read more here: BBC report

(source - Intelligence Journal - Intelligence Volume 47, November–December 2014, Pages 194–201 - Aging trajectories of fluid intelligence in late life: The influence of age, practice and childhood IQ on Raven's Progressive Matrices R.T. Staff, M.J. Hogan, L.J. Whalley)

September 2014

Carotenoid skin colouration is found more attractive than melanin colouration - here

New World Record Carrot (heaviest category) - here

This year's harvest

June 2014

Carrots hold key to beating cancer, say scientists

CARROTS could be key to beating cancer, according to scientists.

By: Jo Willey Published: Fri, June 20, 2014 (UK Daily Express)

They contain powerful ­cancer-busting chemicals, experts at Newcastle University have found.

The natural compounds, known as poly­acetylenes, protect the plant from attack by pests and diseases. They occur only in veg­etables of the carrot family and a few other closely related species such as ginseng.

Previous tests have shown the compounds can have beneficial effects in tackling inflammation and cancer. They were also found to reduce cancer growth in rats.

Now researchers have launched a three-year study to measure the effects of root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and celeriac on cancer and inflammatory diseases like arthritis.

A team of food scientists, chemists and ­doctors will recruit scores of volunteers to take part in a dietary trial.

Project supervisor Dr Kirsten Brandt, senior lecturer in the university’s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, said: “After seeing the positive effects of feeding carrots in the animal experiments, it is important to test if it also works in humans, in particular to find out how much carrot we must eat to obtain a health benefit.”

Dr Wendy Wrieden, of the univers­ity’s Human Nutrition Research ­Centre, said: “We know that eating a variety of vegetables and fruit can reduce the risk of some cancers and other chronic diseases.

“Hopefully this work will give us a clearer picture of the role of vegetables and perhaps provide encouragement to the public to eat more.”

Research in China has already shown that carrots, best known for supposedly helping us to see in the dark, can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by a fifth

The team will investigate how much of the poly­acetylenes are absorbed into the body when the vegetables are eaten raw, boiled or fried and in large or small pieces.

The water or oil in which they have been cooked will also be tested to see if there are any health benefits in re-using it in stews or soup.

Previous research by Dr Brandt found that carrots contain the anti-cancer compound falcarinol, which reduced tumours in rats by a third. But falcarinol, like vitamin C and sugar, is soluble and lost when carrots are boiled.

At the time, Dr Brandt said the secret of healthier and tastier carrots was to use a bigger pan so they can be cooked whole.

She said that increases the anti-cancer properties in a cooked portion by 25 per cent.

The latest study is being partly funded by the British Carrot Growers’ Association.

Martin Evans, managing director of co-operative Freshgro, said: “It has long been accepted that carrots are very good for us but this research project will go much further in improving our knowledge and awareness of the health benefits of this group of root vegetables.”

Research in China has already shown that carrots, best known for supposedly helping us to see in the dark, can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by a fifth. Men who ate carrots at least three times a week were 18 per cent less likely to develop a tumour.

And in the US, researchers at Harvard University found women who ate at least five carrots a week were nearly two-thirds less likely to have a stroke than those who ate them only once a month.

February 2014 - California - Search for the perfect carrot

Researchers and carrot industry representatives recently met at the University of California Desert Research & Extension Center to evaluate a number of carrot breeds.For a consumer, the perfect carrot would likely be nutritious, taste good and look good. Carrot growers have additional criteria. For instance, carrot tops — the leafy green bushels that sprout from the tops of the carrots—need to be strong enough to withstand harvesting machinery, said Rob Kane, a research laboratory technician with the University of Wisconsin. 

“The equipment is built to handle the crop,” he said. “And, the crop is built to withstand the equipment.” To ease home storage, growers favor carrots that are not longer than the width of a refrigerator drawer. “You want them to be accessible to whoever is at home,” Kane said. The carrot market has changed markedly over the years, and with it, the carrot.Growers select the type and number of seeds with an end-product in mind. Seeds selected for the cut-and-peel market — baby carrots — are planted closely together to restrict the diameter of the plant and encourage it to grow downward, said Phil Simon, researcher with United States Department of Agriculture and professor of horticulture at University of Wisconsin.

Baby carrots are geared toward production. Most baby carrots on the market are cut and whittled down from longer carrots. Those with a constant diameter are preferable to those that are tapered. Researchers are now trying to get more carrot segments out of every harvest. “When the baby industry started, they wanted three cuts. Now they’re trying to increase length,” Simon said. “Adding one more cut to a three-cut carrot gives you a 33 percent yield increase.”

Even a carrot’s appearance can have an impact on production. The smoother a carrot is, the easier it is to process, according to Shelby Ellison, a post-doctoral researcher in Simon’s lab. With all the talk about ease of production, the importance of flavor is not lost on researchers. “Sweetness is most important. Kids like a sweet flavor,” said Massimo Iorizzo, also a post-doctoral researcher in Simon’s lab.

Simon is presently sequencing the carrot genome to establish a framework for the industry to more easily grow carrots with desirable attributes, like sugar accumulation and pest resistance. Researchers are also working on bringing novelty carrots mainstream. Red and purple carrots are oftentimes heirloom varieties “not particularly adapted to conditions here,” Simon said.

Purple carrots are believed to originate in Turkey. Red carrots are believed to originate in China or Japan. “Those (red) carrots are cooked, so they don’t care about the flavor,” he said. For Paul Bender, an account manager with Nunhems, said that consumer demand for a convenient product is the main reason that the market has changed from fresh carrots to cut-and-peel.

And, while retailers are now driving the demand for colored carrots, the limiting factors are still the varieties and choices available. However, red carrots may soon be found on supermarket shelves. “Red is now a consistently good flavor,” Kane said. “They tried (to market) it a few years ago but it didn’t have a good flavor.”

Carrots used to be better! - Vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. The main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion: Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.

A landmark study on the topic by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. They studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century. Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.

The Organic Consumers Association cites several other studies with similar findings: A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent. A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal, found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent.

The key to healthier produce is healthier soil. Alternating fields between growing seasons to give land time to restore would be one important step. Also, foregoing pesticides and fertilizers in favour of organic growing methods is good for the soil, the produce and its consumers. Those who want to get the most nutritious fruits and vegetables should buy regularly from local organic farmers.

Vegetables aren’t as healthy as they used to be doesn’t mean we should avoid them. Vegetables are still extraordinarily rich in nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals and vegetables and fruit are our best sources for these.

The Future - A Rainbow Carrot?

How do you get people to eat more carrots? You excite their senses. Surprise them, say, with unexpected colour and explosive flavour. It’s a worthwhile tack to take, says Philipp Simon, plant geneticist at the Vegetable Crops Research Unit in Madison, Wisconsin. He should know. Simon, who heads the ARS laboratory on the University of Wisconsin campus, helped elevate the humble carrot to its current prestigious position. Thanks to work he did with colleagues more than 25 years ago, the carrot is now an even better source of dietary vitamin A.

Using classical breeding methods, they helped boost the veggie’s already abundant stores of beta-carotene by 75 percent. Beta-carotene is what our bodies use to make all-important vitamin A, which is crucial for good eye health and a strong immune system. It’s also responsible for the carrot’s orange hue.

Simon would like to sneak in other nutrients too. That’s why, several years ago, he got to wondering: Why settle for just orange? After all, 700 years ago Western Europeans were feasting on carrots that ranged in colour from lemon-yellow to burgundy to purple. We can have the same variety today—and the healthful antioxidants associated with those brightly coloured pigments.

In addition to breeding yellow, red, deep-orange, purple, and even white carrots, Simon aims to create a “rainbow” carrot - a multi-pigmented root that naturally contains several antioxidants, such as lycopene, lutein, and anthocyanin.

Fuel for Cars?

Scientists now believe that bio fuels will be the answer to our energy needs when the oil runs out. One such fuel, perhaps within 10 years, will be carrots - it would take approximately 6000 carrots to drive one mile.

Hopefully, there will be inexpensive retrofits for older cars to convert to alternative fuels. It could cause a whole new problem if used cars started filling up junk yards because everyone decided to buy carrot fuelled cars. It would be much better to make car donations so someone in need could use it.

Scientists unveil New 'super carrot' (from the BBC, Spring 2008)

The new carrot could ward off osteoporosis Scientists in the US say they have created a genetically-engineered carrot that provides extra calcium. They hope that adding the vegetable to a normal diet could help ward off conditions such as brittle bone disease and osteoporosis. Someone eating the new carrot absorbs 41% more calcium than if they ate the old, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study suggests.

The calcium-charged vegetable still needs to go through many safety trials. "These carrots were grown in carefully monitored and controlled environments," said Professor Kendal Hirschi, part of the team at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Much more research needs to be conducted before this would be available to consumers Professor Kendal Hirschi Baylor College of Medicine "Much more research needs to be conducted before this would be available to consumers." But the scientists nonetheless hope their carrot could ultimately offer a healthier way of consuming sufficient quantities of the mineral.

Dairy foods are the primary dietary source of calcium but some are allergic to these while others are told to avoid consuming too much due to their high fat content. A gene has been altered in the carrot which allows the calcium within it to cross more easily over the plant membranes. On its own, the carrot would not meet the daily requirement of 1,000mg of calcium, but if other vegetables were similarly engineered, intake could be increased dramatically.

It is not the first time the carrot has been tampered with. The orange colour we know is the result of Dutch cultivation in the 17th Century, when patriotic growers turned a vegetable which was then purple into the colour of the national flag. Nor is it the first vegetable to receive a healthy make-over. Genetic engineering is being used to develop potatoes with more starch and less water so that they absorb less oil when fried, producing healthier chips or crisps. Work is also being carried out on broccoli so that it contains more sulforaphane, a chemical which