Carrot – Application in food industry and health benefits – review
Carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) is widely used in the food industry under different forms as raw, cooked, dried, or as juice. Carrots have a high content of proanthocyanidins, carotenoids, saponins, and fibers. Due to the high content of biologically active compounds, carrots have an antioxidant, cardiovascular and anticancer effect, reducing the occurrence of degenerative diseases. Nonetheless, because of their high water content of about 88%, it can deteriorate rapidly. This root vegetable can be used in the food industry to obtain various types of products with a high fiber content, in order to increase the water absorption. Another application of carrots might be represented by the flavoring industry in the form of essential oils with high antimicrobial activity. Vegetable products display some nutritional and sensory characteristics, with applicability in obtaining edible biodegradable bioplastics. Consumption of carrotcontaining foods, rich in polyphenolic compounds, brings many benefits to human health and is effective against various diseases due to their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant activities. Nonetheless, in terms of the food applicability of carrots, new opportunities will arise in the future, opportunities related to the carrot processing industry which generates a lot of waste in the form of pomace and shells, which can generate economic and environmental problems.