Rhubarb plant


History of Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a strange-looking plant with a very interesting history. It is widely considered as a vegetable, but in America, it is considered a fruit, since it is mainly used as a fruit in culinary practices. Scientifically, they are herbaceous perennials with leaves growing off the top of a thick rhizome. The stalks are actually the most commonly used parts of rhubarb, sometimes as a dessert or an ingredient in sweet dishes, due to its uniquely sweet taste.

Interestingly enough, the stalks are the only things eaten, because the triangular leaves are extremely high in oxalic acid, which can cause severe illness in people, resulting in the common belief that rhubarb is poisonous.

Rhubarb is a perennial herb grown for its attractive succulent rose red, edible leafy stalks. This cool-season plant is native to Siberia, and popular in many regions of Europe and in North America is known as “pie plant.” In its natural habitat, the plant expands over the ground surface as a large spread.

Botanically, it belongs to the family of Polygonaceae, in the genus: Rheum, and known as Rheum rhabarbarum.

Rhubarb to be Packed

Pallet in coldroom

Health Benefits of Rhubarb

  • Helps prevent Alzheimer's disease - high in vitamin K
  • Bone Health: Along with its role in protecting the brain from neural degeneration, vitamin K also promotes osteotrophic activity, meaning that it stimulates bone growth and repair. Combined with the rich amount of calcium and other minerals found in rhubarb, the vegetable as a whole is a major player in bone protection.
  • Stimulates production of red blood cells - trace amounts of copper and iron found in rhubarb are enough to stimulate the production of new red blood cells increasing oxygenation of essential areas of the body, thereby improving their function and boosting the overall metabolism of the body.
  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases - impressive amount of antioxidants
  • Prevents cancer and macular degeneration - good source of beta carotene and other polyphenolic compounds
  • Strengthens digestive system and relieves constipation - high amount of dietary fibre
  • Aids in weight loss - lowest caloric vegetable

Storing your Rhubarb

When you get your rhubarb home from the shop you need to get it chilled as soon as possible. We keep our product chilled at below 4 degrees celsius in a 95% humidity coldroom, to prevent moisture loss and to keep the product in optimum condition.

At home, you can achieve a similar result by keeping your rhubarb in the crisper or the fridge in a closed plastic bag for up to 2 weeks or more if it is fresh.

As rhubarb is over 94% water just behind lettuce at 95% it will dehydrate quickly if not kept cool and covered to maintain moisture.