What makes carrots bitter?

In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “What makes carrots bitter?”, with a deep discussion on each element that influences carrot flavor. We will also share some tips for avoiding carrots bitterness.

What makes carrots bitter?

Following are the factors that play an important role in deciding the bitterness of carrots. Note that carrot is an underground root vegetable, therefore soil is the most important one.

Soil

One explanation for the carrots taste bitter is if the soil is unsuitable for carrots. Root growth is halted due to excessive acidity or excess alkali, as well as a lack of nutrients. 

A thick, clayey substrate is particularly unsuitable because it frequently creates a surface crust, preventing oxygen from entering and providing a barrier to the uniform distribution of moisture.

Many nutrients are transformed into a form that plants cannot use when the pH is high. Certain helpful microorganisms that exist on soil die. If the acidity surpasses 7.5 pH, the culture entirely stops absorbing iron, which is most noticeable in the taste of the vegetables.


Pests

Some pests make root vegetables practically unsuitable for consumption. Grass fleas prey on the juice of the crowns, causing it to dry out entirely, stop growing the crop, and stop photosynthesis. If the defeat happens after the creation of roots, the roots will taste bitter. 

Carrot flies arrive with the advent of steady heat in the higher layers of the soil and on the surface. Simultaneously, the tops take on a golden tint and eventually fade.

The larvae of the umbrella moth eat the roots and seeds. Cocoons left behind after pupation are evidence of their presence.

Wireworms are 2-3 cm long yellow worms that feed on the carrot root and leave thin passageways behind. This results in the growth of the fungus into the roots and their ultimate decomposition.

Slugs only appear at night and leave traces of a dazzling white. Carrot aphids frequently invade the area, destroying the tops. In this instance, the leaves soon bend and dry out, and root growth is halted.


Incorrect watering strategy

Due to a lack of moisture, carrots develop a bitter taste. Plant roots do not absorb nutrients and trace elements from dry soil, nor do they collect juiciness. Cold water is also frowned upon in culture. 

The moisture content of the soil should be at least 50%. Crops are irrigated heavily in dry weather, and less so in wet weather when the soil dries out. At the start of the growing season, maximum humidity is required.

Bad seeds

When planting dates are missed, carrots become bitter. Planting too early, for example, causes ripening, which affects both the appearance and flavor of the crop. 

It is important to carefully study the directions on seed packaging and to observe the planting and harvest dates, taking into consideration the degree of maturity. Vegetables destined for cooler areas will be bitter and small in size in southern latitudes.

Late and early harvest

In the hope that the roots will grow more, many gardeners delay the harvest. It is a bad option to harvest carrots too late: vegetables are too rooted, too ripe, lose almost all nutrients and become tasteless, bitter, and tough. 

Prematurely dug carrots are not suitable for storage: they are very vulnerable to fungal diseases. The resulting bacteria feed on carbohydrate compounds, which leads to the appearance of bitterness

Storage

Proper storage conditions for the harvested crop are critical to its flavor. Only plant roots that are entirely healthy and free of pests and illnesses. The temperature in the room should not be higher than 2 ° C, and the humidity should be less than 80%. 

Vegetables will degrade, becoming bitter and hard if not stored properly. The ideal place to keep it is in wooden crates in a basement or cellar with no regular light.

What to do to avoid carrot bitterness?

The crop’s soil must be regularly watered and loosened. In general, the sections of the soil that are above the surface are bitter and become green when exposed to sunshine. 

Because the alkaloid solanine is created in vegetables and is unsafe to ingest, the green section of the carrot is clipped in the harvested crop. To avoid this sort of problem, the soil has to be loosened on a regular basis so that the roots are completely submerged.

You should also choose types carefully for your climatic location; Observe the amount of soil acidity (a reasonable indication is a pH of 5.5-5.6); Besides that, you should store it properly.

Other FAQs about Carrots that you may be interested in.

Can you steam carrots ahead of time?

How to tell when carrots go bad?

Where does carrots come from?

Conclusion

In this brief article, we provided you with the answer to the question: “What makes carrots bitter?”, with a deep discussion on each element that influences carrot flavor. We also shared some tips for avoiding carrots’ bitterness.

References

“Por que as cenouras são amargas: o que fazer se as cenouras são amargas, você pode comê-las, como evitar o amargor”. Acessado 9 de fevereiro de 2022. https://farm-pt.desigusxpro.com/posadka/ogorod/zontichnye/morkov/gorchit-i-kak-etogo-ne-dopustit.html.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.