UoN The Hidden Half: Sugar Beet
From Brian Atkinson
Sugar beet, Beta vulgaris, grows a root that contains a high percentage of sucrose and therefore is used to produce sugar. The first factory devoted to producing sugar for these beet plants was opened in 1801 in Poland. When the British restricted the flow of sugar from sugarcane into Europe, France devoted a huge amount of land to growing sugar beet. By 1880 sugar beet produced 50% of the world’s sugar. Sugar beet and beetroots are varieties of the same species.
The CT scan clearly shows the thick tap root of the beet plant where the sugar is stored. This plant has been domesticated to grow a much thicker root than other species.