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Radish

What is Radish?
Botanically termed as raphanus sativus, the radish is a herbaceous plant grown for their crisp and peppery-tasting roots. This plant of the mustard family with a pungent root was domesticated in Europe in pre-Roman times. Some of the roots are long and tapering, others are globular; the latter are commonly known as turnip radishes. A native to China, this vegetable is grown and consumed in every corner of the globe.

Radishes are available in various varieties, with white, red, or black roots of different shapes and sizes. Being a fast growing plant, they can be ready for harvest in less than a month. The best quality

roots are produced in spring or fall when temperatures are in the range of 50 to 65°F, with ample moisture. Certain species of radishes are grown for their seeds; oilseed radishes are grown, as the name implies, for oil production. In China, they are generally pickled in brine; whereas radishes are considered as a staple food in Japan.
 

Varieties
Generally, radishes can be classified into four main types viz. summer, fall, winter, and spring. They differ considerably in their colours, shapes and types, such as black or multi-coloured radishes, with round or elongated roots that can grow longer than a parsnip. They are similar to beets as far as their colour is concerned, but radishes are usually smaller, smoother, and brighter in color.

Plant Description
A cold climate crop, radish is an annual or biennial plant of Chinese origin belonging to the plant order capparales. This plant of the mustard family is grown for its thickened root, which is eaten

uncooked as a salad vegetable. Many cultivars are available in variety of colours like red, yellow, white, black, pink, and red-white combinations.

Its leaves are simple and deeply lobed, often down to the midrib. Well drained sandy loams with pH 6.5 - 7.0. are most suitable for cultivating radishes. The best quality roots are produced in spring or fall when temperatures are in the range of 50 to 65°F.

 

Nutritional Value
A powerhouse of potassium, folic acid, and ascorbic acid, radishes are described as a wholesome diet by many leading nutritionists. These root crops contain higher concentrations of magnesium, copper, calcium, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, etc. A cup of sliced red radish bulbs provide approx. 20 calories or less.

 

100 g (3.5 oz) of radish contains:

 
  • Energy: 20 kcal/70 kJ
  • Carbohydrates: 3.40 g
  • Sugars:1.86 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1.6 g
  • Fat: 0.10 g
  • Protein: 0.68 g
  • Thiamin (Vit. B1): 0.012 mg
  • Riboflavin (Vit. B2): 0.039 mg
  • Niacin (Vit. B3): 0.254 mg
  • Pantothenic acid (B5): 0.165 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.071 mg
  • Folate (Vit. B9): 25 μg
  • Vitamin C: 14.8
  • Calcium: 25 mg
  • Iron: 0.34 mg
  • Magnesium: 10 mg
  • Phosphorus: 20 mg
  • Potassium: 233 mg
  • Zinc: 0.28 mg.
   

Uses:

  • Culinary Uses: Though all parts of the radish plant are edible, its napiform taproot is the most popular part for eating. It is eaten in raw as well as in cooked form and is suitable in a dizzying array of dishes from salads to stir fries. The bulb of the radish is usually eaten raw, but tougher specimens can be steamed. It is an inseparable element of salad and is known for its pungent and peppery flavor.
  • Medicinal Uses: A rich source of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, radishes possess innumerable healing and medicinal properties. Herbologists prefer radishes in variety of ailments including whooping cough, cancer, coughs, gastric discomfort, liver problems, constipation, dyspepsia, gallbladder problems, arthritis, gallstones, kidney stones and intestinal parasites.
  • Industrial Uses: The seeds of the Raphanus sativus species can be pressed to extract seed oil. Wild radish seeds contain up to 48% oil content, and while not suitable for human consumption the oil has promise as a source of biofuel.
 
 
 
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