Beetroot (Beta Vulgaris L.) and Naturally Fermented Beetroot Juices From Organic and Conventional Production: Metabolomics, Antioxidant Levels and Anticancer Activity

J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Oct;94(13):2618-29. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6722. Epub 2014 Jun 16.


Background: The aim of the paper was to determine the level of antioxidants and metabolomic fingerprinting in both raw beetroots and naturally fermented beetroot juices from organic (ORG) versus conventional (CONV) production. In addition, the anticancer properties of the fermented beetroot juices were evaluated.

Results: The obtained results showed that ORG fresh beetroots contained significantly more dry matter, vitamin C and some individual phenolic compounds than CONV beetroots. The content of total phenolic acids was significantly higher in CONV beetroots compared with the ORG ones. The level of flavonoids was similar in ORG and CONV beetroots. There were only slight differences in the chemical composition of ORG and CONV beetroot juices. Metabolomic analysis provided a possibility to distinguish clearly between ORG and CONV fermented beetroot juices. However, this method was less useful in the case of fresh whole beetroots. It was found that anticancer activity was stronger in the case of ORG fermented juices when compared with CONV ones.

Conclusion: The obtained results indicate that ORG- and CONV-produced beetroots and fermented beetroot juices have different chemical properties and different impacts on cancer cells. It is necessary to continue research on this topic in order to confirm and understand the achieved results.

Keywords: anticancer properties; beetroot; beetroot juice; metabolomic analysis; organic and conventional production.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / analysis*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Apoptosis
  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Beta vulgaris / chemistry*
  • Beta vulgaris / growth & development
  • Beta vulgaris / metabolism
  • Beta vulgaris / microbiology
  • Beverages / analysis*
  • Beverages / microbiology
  • Beverages / standards
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Fermentation
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Food Inspection / methods
  • Food, Organic / analysis*
  • Food, Organic / microbiology
  • Food, Organic / standards
  • Humans
  • Metabolome*
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / chemistry*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / microbiology
  • Poland
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Ascorbic Acid