Beets (Beta vulgaris) have been reported to be a very nutritious vegetable which may provide health benefits against chronic diseases such as colon cancer due to phytochemicals present. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of feeding Freeze Dried (FD), Cabinet Dried (CD) and pasteurized juice at 2 and 4% levels on Azoxymethane (AOM) induced Aberrant Crypt Foci (ACF) in Fisher 344 male rats and to determine the total phenolics and flavonoids content and antioxidants activity measured using FRAP and DPPH in steam blanched (SB), frozen, individually quick frozen (IQF), freeze dried and cabinet dried compared to fresh beets. Twenty eight rats were divided into 7 groups at 4 rats per group. The groups were fed control (C) diet (AIN-93G), C+2 and 4% FD, CD and beet juice. All rats received s/c injections of AOM in saline at 16 mg kg-1 b.wt. at 7 and 8 weeks. Rats were killed by CO2 asphyxiation at the 17 week of age. Number of ACF, crypts/foci and total crypts were enumerated in the colon. Total phenolics, flavonoids and monomeric anthocyanin content as well antioxidant activity (using DPPH and FRAP) of beets (freeze dried, cabinet dried, individually quick frozen, conventionally frozen steam blanched and fresh) were also determined. The total ACF incidence was significantly (p<0.05) higher in the control compared to beet fed groups. ACF reductions ranged from a low of 63% in rat fed 2% freeze dried beets to a high of 80% in rats fed 4% freeze dried beets. Total phenolics and flavonoids were significantly (p<0.05) higher in cabinet dried and freeze dried beets and higher antioxidant activity compared to the others (fresh, steam blanched, IQF and frozen). The results from the experiment indicates that feeding beets(cabinet dried, freeze dried or juice) reduced the incidence of AOM-induced ACF and therefore may be explored for its chemopreventive potential and other health benefits by the food industry.
S. Appiah, M. Verghese, J. Boateng, L.A. Shackelford, B. Kanda, J. Patterson and L.T. Walker, 2012. Determination of Processing Effects on Phytochemical Content, Antioxidants Activity and Chemopreventive Potential of Beets (Beta vulgaris) using a Colon Cancer Fisher 344 Male Rat Model. International Journal of Cancer Research, 8: 105-118.