Red beet juice is extracted from the root of the vegetable Beta vulgaris, or the red beet. North American red beets are grown in the Midwest region of the United States and harvested from August to October.
Betanin is the main coloring compound present in red beetroot juice color. Historically, it has imparted additional color to wines. The colourings responsible for the red hue of red beet juice are a group of molecules called betalains. This group of pigments contains the red and yellow pigments known as betacyanins and betaxanthins, respectively.
Beets are readily available for food and beverage manufacturers and consumers in North America. Betalains are available in two primary forms:
Coloring from red beets is water soluble, and the red beet flavor can easily be masked. Although some other natural colorings have better heat stability than betalains, betalains do have excellent light stability and excellent pH stability. Generally, betalain colors will not fade in light. Unlike anthocyanins, betalains do not change in hue in response to differences in the pH of foods and beverages.
In the following video, colorMaker‘s Stephen Lauro discusses attributes of beets / betalains during a presentation at the Supply Side West exposition.