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Agricultural products
Beet
Beet
Beet has, as a production plant species, formed from wild species Beta perennis Hal. and Beta maritima L. in the areas of Southern and Middle Asia, Mediterranean and West-European regions. Spontaneous hybridisation and creation of the original beet was caused by parallel cultivation of these two types.

Beet root was the most frequent food of the Egyptians at the time of construction of the pyramids. Much later it was used as cattle feed however the beet as the source of sugar was not used until the mid 18th century and is a relatively young agricultural species. First factory for production of sugar from beet was built in 1798 in Silesia. However, degree of utilisation of sugar was minor, only 1%. Until 1856 the only selection method was mass selection. French explorer Vilmorin began with individual selection and introduced polarimeter for determination of sugar. At the start of the 20th century selection based on juice purity was introduced and content of sugar was at about 17%.

Chemical content of beet depends on cultivated sorts and hybrids, applied agrotechnology, soil and climate conditions, etc. It is believed that beet root usually contains around 25% of dry matter and around 75% of water.

The greatest part of dry matter is made up of sucrose – 17,5% and the remaining part (7,5%) is non-sugar matter. Part of the non-sugar matter (approx. 2,5%) is soluble in water and together with sucrose goes into the content of the raw beet juice. Degree of utilisation of sugar is decreased in the process of beet processing if the share of mineral matter increases.

Apart from the main product, sugar, by-products have great importance in the production of beet, such as leaves with heads, beet noodles, molasses and saturation sludge. Dry beet noodles present concentrated cattle feed and may be easily transported and stored for a long time. Molasses contains approximately 50% of sugar, 20% of organic non-sugar matter, 10% of mineral matter and the remaining quantity of water. Molasses were previously used more for cattle feeding and today they are used as the main raw material in production of baking and cattle yeast, and spirit. Lately it has been used for production of glutamine and other products in pharmaceutical and food industries.

Beet is cultivated at agricultural land of DTD Ribarstvo in the area of 207 ha where excellent yields are achieved.